It was the 34th victory of the season against only a defeat and one tie for the surging Flames. It marked the sixth straight win for coach Mark Brew’s team. Brew was presented a plaque by Dr. Walt Mauldin and athletic director Larry Carpenter before the contest. The presentation saluted the Lee coach for his 300th decision, posted last Tuesday against Freed-Hardeman.
Five different pitchers shared Lee’s mound duties and Kyle Briner claimed the pitching decision. Dustin Lawson started and pitched hitless ball over the first two innings. Briner followed in the third and fourth. He also did not allow a hit. Lefty James Rechenbach came on for the fifth. He gave up one of Trevecca’s four hits. Jose Samayoa surrendered a pair of hits in his three innings of work and Andy Hillis closed the deal in the ninth.
“Being No. 1 places an even bigger target on our backs,” admitted Brew. “However, we are happy that the NAIA coaches think this highly of our program. We have to continue to work hard. The season still has a long way to go but I’m pleased at where are today.”
The Flames pounded out 12 hits against three Trojan pitchers. Former Flame Rob Rowland (3-3) was the starter and loser in four innings. He gave up four hits and struck out two. “The Trevecca pitchers kept us in check for much of the game,” noted Brew. “We came up with some key two-out hits like we have so many times this season.”
Lee got on the board in the second inning. Corey Davis ripped a double. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and with two outs, scored on an RBI single by James Fowlkes.
Two more runs were recorded in the fourth inning and again they came with two men out. Mike Moore led off the inning with a single. Roberto Duran picked up a walk and Fowlkes sacrificed his teammates to second and third. After Taylor Comford was robbed of a base hit for the second out of the inning, Brady Renner walked to load the sacks.
Edmanuel Rivera slammed a single that pushed a pair of runs across the plate and gave Brew’s crew some much-needed insurance. Lee waited until the seventh to increase the lead to 5-0. Jose Reyes singled and strolled home on a triple by Davis. Fowlkes collected his second RBI of the day with another one-base knock.
The final tally was posted in the eighth inning. Renner led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a single by Max Harvell. Reyes registered an RBI when he flied out to the right fielder. “We had several players step up with key hits, including Rivera and Fowlkes,” added Brew. “Davis was able to score a couple of our runs and hit the ball well. It is certainly nice to have some players come off the bench and contribute like Harvell did today.”
Harvell came on in the third inning after Lee’s leading hitter Blake Barber left the contest with a hamstring problem. “He’s had a problem with his hamstring for several games,” pointed out Brew. “We didn’t want to take any chances and removed Blake from the game.” Barber had tripled in the first inning and legged out an infield hit in the third.
While Renner, Barber and Davis were each posting a pair of hits apiece, Rivera, Reyes, Moore and Harvell had one hit each.
Nick Howell, Trae Weiss, Corey Crunk and Justin Holland had the only hits for the Trojans. The losers only reached third base once the entire contest. Lee’s five hurlers combined for five strikeouts and walked four.
The Flames will hit the road for a three-game series at Southern Wesleyan University on Friday and Saturday. “Southern Wesleyan always plays us tough at their place,” stressed Brew. “We went to their place two years ago and in almost the same identical situation. They beat our best pitcher in that three-game series. We can’t take anything for granted against all our SSAC opponents.”