The Lee baseball Flames completed the three-game sweep of visiting LeMoyne-Owen College at Olympic Field on Sunday afternoon and will open Gulf South Conference (GSC) competition next weekend, hosting Union University in another three-game series.
The 8-4 victory was highlighted by another strong pitching effort. Chevis Hoover worked the opening four innings and allowed just two hits. He struck out five and did not issue a walk. Ridge Ackerman came on to hurl the fifth and sixth innings and allowed a single and posted one strikeout.
Ryan Zimmer hurled a one-inning shutout and fanned a pair. All totaled, Lee used five hurlers with Rob Gustitus surrendering two hits in one inning. He also gave up an earned run. Jacob Potts pitched in the ninth inning. He surrendered three hits and three earned runs.
"I thought our pitching once again set the tone for the day," remarked coach Mark Brew after his club improved to 6-0 on the year. "Hoover provided us an excellent four innings and I thought Ackerman and Zimmer looked good out of the bullpen."
The Flames scored a single run in the first inning when Andres Nelo tallied on a sacrifice fly to right field by Nate Wierzgac. The margin grew to 3-0 in the third when Luke Toms doubled to right field. Trenton Hill and Siosi Poti scored on the play.
Lee salted the contest away in the fifth when Cameron Scott drilled a double to deep left field. He collected a pair of RBI when Hill and Nelo crossed home plate. "Poti had a solid day from the leadoff spot and Scott had a big two-out double to help put some distance between us and them," noted Brew.
LeMoyne-Owen posted a single run in the seventh as William Myracle lifted a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Anthony Owen.
The Flames struck again for three runs in the seventh and held an 8-1 lead. Toms reached on an error allowing Hill to advance to second and plating Nelo with an unearned run. Another error allowed MJ Brown to reach. Toms and Hill also registered unearned runs in the inning.
The visitors rallied in the ninth. The big blow of the day saw Robert Sheard pick up three RBI when he ripped a shot over the left-center field wall. Myracle and Owen scored on the blast.
Nelo paced Lee's 11-hit attack with a double and two singles. He also scored three runs. Hill joined in with a two-base knock and a one-base hit. He also put three runs on the board. Brown posted a pair of singles, while Scott collected two RBI as did Toms, who also added a two-base knock and scored a run. Poti and Travis Perkola had the other hits for the Flames.
LeMoyne-Owen got two hits each from Owen, Sheard and Sanioine Key. Owen scored two runs and Myracle collected his team's other RBI.
Darryl Dunbar was the losing pitcher. In five innings, he allowed seven hits, five earned runs, walked four and struck out one. Deion Smith pitched the final three innings for the losers. Ackerman was credited with the Lee pitching win, his first of the year.
"Union comes to town next week and it should be a good challenge for our Gulf South opener. We have lots to improve on, but we have seen lots of positive things over the first six games," pointed out Brew.