Hawkins proves kind to Hawks

Published 4:49 pm Saturday, March 28, 2009

MURFREESBORO – Stir up the pot for some more home cooking.

The Chowan University baseball team made it six straight wins in their five-day home stand with a doubleheader sweep of St. Andrews College Wednesday afternoon at Hawkins Field. They downed the Knights by scores of 14-2 and 4-2.

More importantly, a pair of freshman hurlers, southpaw Will Medlin and righty Ryan Bradshaw picked up the wins on the mound, surrendering just seven hits between them in giving up just four runs.

Medlin, making his first collegiate start, went six innings with one inning of relief help from fellow-frosh John Atkins; who did not give up a hit or a base on balls. Bradshaw went the distance for his team-leading third complete game.

“Basically all we have is freshmen,” said fifth-year coach Aaron Carroll, “and we’ve been throwing them all year.

“After a month of playing,” he added, “they’re throwing like veterans.”

Seven of the 13 moundsmen for the Hawks are first-year players.

“Take Bradshaw,” Carroll pointed out, “he’s had two wins in his last two starts; getting a shutout in one game and allowing just one earned run in the other.”

Also of note is how well the Hawks’ bats have come alive during these series’. After a slow start in Saturday’s wins where they scored just seven runs in a pair of games, Chowan posted three consecutive wins where they’ve put up double-figure scores. 15-3 and 21-7 in the Virginia State wins and the 14 runs in Wednesday’s first game.

Freshman Adam Capps went 4-for-4 in that contest, driving in three runs. Junior John Kellett and sophomores Jake Badinelli and Jason Whitlatch drove in two runs each. Freshman Justin Bagbey, who set the Chowan record for home runs in a single-season by clubbing his 11th on Sunday, had two hits as did senior Matt Price.

In the second game junior Mike Taylor stroked a three-run homer, his seventh of the year, making 35 runs he’s driven in so far this season.

“Scoring a lot of runs on Sunday,” said Carroll, “and then coming out of class to play a game in the middle of the week might have been tough, but they came out with fire in their eyes and didn’t have a let-up as they took care of business early.”

After a scoreless first inning in Game One, Chowan put up nine runs on the Knights in the next two frames to erase a 2-0 deficit and take a commanding 9-2 lead. They got three more runs over the next two innings to lead 12-2 before St. Andrews scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the sixth for the eight-run margin of victory.

In the second game all the scoring took place in the first inning as St. Andrews again broke on top early with a 2-0 lead before the Hawks got their first run on a groundout that was followed by Taylor’s blast to account for all the runs Chowan would need for their 15th win of the year.

“We’ve played a lot of home games,” said senior Matt Crane, “and our pitchers getting ahead helps the confidence of our young batters.”

Chowan (15-10) will next play a pair of road games against CIAA members St. Paul’s in a twin-bill and a return doubleheader with Virginia State. Their next home date at Hawkins Field will be a Sunday double-header with St. Paul’s on April 5.