Hawks split four-game set

Published 3:57 pm Monday, February 28, 2011

MURFREESBORO – Wanted: an alarm at Chowan University’s Hawkins Field to wake up the Hawks’ baseball bats this young season.

Though the team’s batting average is well above the mythical ‘Mendoza line’ (.249 through a dozen games), some stats are interesting: like hitting .238 a week ago and being swept in a quartet of games by East Stroudsburg; yet this week going .211 at the plate, but splitting a four-game series with Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

On Saturday Chowan took a come-from-behind 2-1 win in the first game, but fell, 9-1, in the second contest after being out-hit, 15-to-2.

Sunday they dropped game-one, 5-2, but bounced back to put it all together on the hill and at the plate for a 7-3 victory; upping their record to 3-9.

“You don’t get many games with a score of, 2-1, in college baseball these days,” said seventh-year Chowan Head Coach Aaron Carroll after the Saturday twin-bill, “but right now we’ll take anything.

“We’re just not hitting very well,” he added, “but we showed a lot of heart, played great defense, and we battled.”

The IU-P Crimson Hawks, who were playing their first games of the season, picked up a run in the top of the second inning and took a 1-0 lead in the first game on Saturday.

Junior right-hander Ryan Bradshaw started on the mound and gave up a run on two hits with a pair of strikeouts through three innings before giving way to eventual winner, junior Brett Garrett in the fourth. Garrett threw three innings of no-hit ball and registered two strike outs.

In the bottom of the sixth, a pair of one-out base-on-balls put a runner in scoring position for Chowan before sophomore Justin Shockley singled to left field to score sophomore Brandon Mack.

Later, with two outs, freshman outfielder Ryan Moore singled to left field to score freshman pinch-runner Colby Wiggins with the go-ahead and eventual winning run. In the top of the seventh, the right-handed Moore moved from centerfield to the mound and despite surrendering a pair of hits collected the final three outs to pick up his second save of the season.

In all, Chowan had four hits in the game with Shockley leading the way with two base-knocks and a run driven in. Moore got the other RBI after going 2-for-3 at the plate.

“You can’t say enough about our pitching in the first game,” said Carroll. “To come from behind and win against a good team is great.

“I was hoping, though,” he added with a slight smile, “that it would carry over to the second game.”

Chowan struck first in game two by getting two men on: Moore drew a walk, was sacrificed to second and went to third on a wild-pitch to stand 90 feet from paydirt.  Sophomore Jordan Williams delivered the goods later with a drag bunt, but the second runner was out at the plate attempting to score.

Junior left-hander John DesChamps, who had been cruising through the first three-and-two-third innings, gave up three straight two-out hits, and ended up surrendering three runs in the fourth and taking the loss. He struck out four, but gave up three runs on six total hits.

The Crimson Hawks got three more in the fifth and closed out the scoring with another trio in the seventh to end the game with nine runs on 15 hits; while two IU-P hurlers combined for a two-hitter.

“One thing I’ve always had is good hitting teams,” said the bewildered Carroll, “and I’m out of ideas on how to get things going.

“We work on it (hitting) constantly”, he added, “and I know we’ve got the athletes and we’ve got the ability so the only thing I can figure is it’s something mental.

“It’s frustrating because we’re not doing it right now,” he shrugged.  “We’re getting closer, but until we do it’s going to be a struggle.”

Chowan opens Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) play at home tomorrow (Wednesday) with a 1 p.m. double-header at Hawkins Field against Elizabeth City State.