Hawks sweep VSU, top Vikings

Published 4:24 pm Wednesday, April 14, 2010


It’s called momentum, and Chowan University’s baseball team has it headed into the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championships in Petersburg, Virginia this week.

The Hawks have won 13 of their last 15 games, all CIAA contests, and secured second-place behind St. Augustine’s for the tournament to be held at Virginia State University beginning on Thursday.

Prior to closing out the regular-season with a doubleheader sweep at Elizabeth City State on Sunday they completed a Friday twin-bill against Shaw University on ‘Senior Day’ at Hawkins Field by scores of 13-3 and 14-2.

“I think we’re right where we need to be,” said sixth-year coach Aaron Carroll after Friday’s sweep. “We’re going to go down there (to ECSU) and fine-tune our pitching and let everyone who didn’t throw today get in a little bit of work.”

And work well they did.

Sunday, sophomore right-hander Tyler King picked up his second win on the mound in the first contest after throwing six-and-a-third innings scattering six hits and surrendering two earned runs. Fellow sophomore Anthony O’Brien threw the final two outs for the save in an 8-4 come-from-behind Hawks victory.

In the second game, Chowan starter Lee Dickens gave up a run on one hit through three innings before the bullpen’s combined efforts held the Vikings hitless for the remainder of the game.

Lefty Will Medlin and right-hander Josh Powell combined for three strikeouts between them in an inning of work each, and Chowan then rallied for the 2-1 win with John Morris on the hill in the sixth inning while John Atkins retired the side in the bottom of the seventh to get his first save of the year.

“We’ve got to make sure we’re throwing strikes,” said senior reliever Spencer Fagan on Friday. “Getting those lead-off batters and the two-out batters out and just making sure small innings don’t turn into big innings.”

During Friday’s games at Hawkins Field, senior Zac Caito closed out the home portion of his career by driving in six runs in the two games while sophomore slugger Adam Capps showed why he was the CIAA “Player of the Week” in driving in five runs in seven at-bats.

“We’re going in hot,” Caito said. “Everyone one-thru-nine is hitting and we know we can’t make any mental mistakes in the field.

“We’ve just got to be mentally tough going into the tournament,” he added.

Chowan put the game away in the first inning with five runs on five hits. Senior John Kellett doubled to open the frame, advanced to third base on a groundout then scored on a passed ball.

Three batters later and with two on, fellow senior Mike Taylor drove in the first run of the game with a single to right. Caito drove in his first run of the day next with a fielder’s choice and with two outs, Capps delivered two more runs on a double into the gap in right center field.

After single runs in the second and third innings made it 7-0, the Hawks exploded once again with five more in the fourth sending 10 men to the plate. Caito opened the scoring with a bases-loaded ground-out for the first RBI followed by senior Nate Stanton’s two RBI double.

Stewart Barnette brought home the third run with a single followed by Capps’ third RBI of the game and two batters later Brandon Mack’s single delivered the fifth and final run of the inning.

Winning pitcher Andrew Hales gave way to Fagan in the sixth inning with a 13-0 lead and despite surrendering three earned runs, Fagan picked up his first save of the year and Chowan their 19th win of the season.