Despite a strong outing from Myles Smith, the Lee baseball team fell to Belhaven University, 1-0, in game one of Saturday’s twin bill.
With temperatures settling right around 40 degrees the two clubs combined for just five hits and one run. The lone run came in the bottom of the second inning when Dominic Fancia doubled and scored on a single by Daniel Gilbert.
Smith (4-1) worked six strong innings for the Flames in the loss. The junior-transfer held Belhaven to just the one run and gave up just three hits. The hard throwing righty struck out eight and walked one. His counterpart was just a little bit better. Chris Good toed the rubber for the Blazers and shutout the high powered Lee offense. Good gave up just two hits and struck eight for the complete game victory.
“We just couldn’t get anything going offensively.” said Brew. “Give Belhaven’s pitcher credit as he really kept us off balance. Myles [Smith] threw extremely well and didn’t deserve to lose that game.”
The only offensive production for Lee came from the top of the batting order. Brady Renner and Josh Silver each singled.
Danny Canela’s three-run homer in the eighth inning helped propel the Flames to a game two victory over the Blazers.
In similar fashion to game one, runs were at a premium for both teams. Lee grabbed a 1-0 lead in the sixth inning on an RBI single by Josh Silver.
Belhaven would answer back in the bottom of the seventh inning but missed a golden opportunity to take the lead.
After a leadoff double and a single chased Flame starter Clint Terry from the ball game, Lee coach Mark Brew went to his bullen and called on reliever Kyle Briner. Briner gave up a sacrifice fly to tie the game and then struggled to find the zone, loading the bases with back to back walks. Alex Moore (1-1) came on from there and worked out of the jam to keep the score even at a run apiece.
The Lee offense came alive in the top of the eighth. After a Brady Renner single, Silver was plunked by a pitch to put two runners on. Canela then drilled the first pitch he saw from Austin McCann over the right field wall to put the Flames ahead for good, 4-1.
“We couldn’t really string anything together offensively. Canela’s swing was a huge moment as was Alex Moore working out of the bases loaded jam in the seventh.” Brew said.
Clint Terry started and worked six plus innings for Lee. The lefty gave up one run on just three hits and struck out five. After Briner and Moore battled out of the seventh inning jam, Jeremy Stawychny worked a perfect eighth and Andy Hillis shut the door in the ninth. Hillis struck out a pair to record his fourth save on the year.
Josh Rogers got the nod in game two for Belhaven. He worked four innings and did not allow a run. Jared Miller, Andrew Gunn and Drew Boyles followed and combined for three scoreless innings of work. Avery Johnson came on in the eighth and was charged with the loss (0-1).
“It was extremely tough conditions today, but we have to do a better job in the future.” said Brew. “Your goal is to win the series on the road, but when you only allow four runs total all weekend, you would expect a sweep. Give Belhaven credit they had a great plan that worked, but in the future we can’t give away that many at bats.”
With the series win the third-ranked Flames move to 19-3 on the year and 8-1 in the SSAC. The loss drops Belhaven to 12-10 and 1-5 in conference play.
Lee will get a few days off before they head back down to Mississippi for a weekend series with William Carey beginning Friday.
The Flames used a 3-run ninth to open their weekend series with a 6-2 win Friday night.
The victory moves the third-ranked Flames to 18-2 on the year and a perfect 7-0 in the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC). The loss drops Belhaven to 11-9 overall and 0-4 in conference play.
Jose Samayoa (4-0) pitched seven strong innings to lead the Flames. The senior gave up just one unearned run in the first inning and finished with nine strike outs. Samayoa displayed pin point control not giving up a free pass to the Blazers. Lee pitchers combined to walk just one batter in the game.
“It was a good team win.” noted coach Brew. “Samaoya threw great and our bullpen was good enough.”
After the Blazers struck for an unearned run in the first the Flames responded with two runs in the second. The pitching settled in from there until Danny Canela ‘s seventh inning single drove in Josh Silver to give Lee a 3-1 advantage.
Belhaven answered with a run in the eighth off reliever Alex Moore to cut the lead to 3-2. Moore walked one and struck out one in his inning of work. The Flames would respond in the ninth inning with three insurance runs. The rally was capped by a two-run single from Silver. The Lee shortstop finished 2-for-5 with two RBI.
Andy Hillis worked the ninth inning for the Flames. Hillis struck out a batter retiring the side in order to secure the Lee victory.
The Lee offensive attack pounded out ten hits in the contest. Josh Stewart added two hits and scored two runs. Canela had a pair of hits and drove in two. Mark Silva chipped a RBI single and scored once.
Jonathan Thompson started on the mound for Belhaven. Thompson worked six innings surrendering four hits and one earned run. He struck out five and walked one. The Flames scored four runs off Blazer relievers in 2 1/3 innings.
“Belhaven did a great job holding our offense down until late. It will be a tough day tomorrow.” acknowledged Brew. “Temperature isn’t supposed to rise above 43 all day.”