ROME, Ga. — In a back-and-forth battle, the Lee University Baseball team earned the Gulf South Conference series win with an 11-10 victory against Shorter University Sunday afternoon at the Ledbetter Baseball Complex.
The 21 total runs scored was the second-most in a Lee game this year. The most was 22 when the Flames (21-9, 9-6 GSC) defeated Purdue-Calumet 19-3 back on March 13.
“It was a great team win as we captured a hard-fought series on the road,” said Lee head coach Mark Brew.
Shorter (8-20, 5-11 GSC) took a 2-0 lead with a two-run home run by Bryan Mathews. From that point, Lee scored nine of the game’s next 10 runs to lead 9-3 heading into Shorter’s half of the seventh inning.
The Hawks used six hits to take advantage of a Lee error and three free passes to plate seven runs to retake the lead, 10-9.
“It was a gut check time for our team after the seven-run seventh, and I was really proud of how we responded,” said Brew. “Not often can you overcome that type of inning anytime in the game, much less late in the game.”
Zacary Hawkins delivered the eventual game-winning hit with a two-run single in the eighth inning. Hawkins finished the game 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
“Hawkins’ 0-2 hit was a huge swing getting us the lead back in the eighth. (Jeremy) Bales was awesome in settling us down and getting us to the end of the game.”
Bales (1-0) pitched the final 2 1/3 innings to pick up the win. He gave up just two hits, walked one and struck out one.
Derrick Pitts was the starting pitcher. He scattered eight hits, walked three, struck out five and had three runs scored on him in six innings of work.
Pitts was 2-for-5 at the plate, including a three-run home run. Siosi Poti and Nathan Wierzgac were the only other Flames with two hits. Wierzgac delivered a two-run double in the seventh inning.
Cameron Brewster legged out an RBI double and Seth Gower rounded out Lee’s 11-hit attack.
“Hawkins and Pitts had big days at the plate,”said Brew. “Pitts also did a great job on the mound.” The Lee skipper also praised the defense of shortstop Josh Silver, who “made several big plays for us.”
The Flames will turn their focus back to nonconference action when the Flames host Tusculum College on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
“We have a big week with two quality programs in Tusculum and West Florida coming to campus,” added Brew. “It should be some great baseball.”