Hawks sweep ECSU

Published 3:46 pm Friday, March 4, 2011

MURFREESBORO – The kids are alright.

The bats of the Chowan University baseball team came alive right on time Wednesday afternoon and helped propel the Hawks to a 21-5 rout of Elizabeth City State.  However, they were quieted again in the nightcap, but Chowan still prevailed, 3-2.

The double-header win left Chowan 5-9 overall and 2-0 in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA).

“Inconsistency’s going to be the downfall of us,” seventh-year Chowan Head Coach Aaron Carroll pointed out after the twinbill. “We’ve got to get better playing a full double-header; I guess we kind of expected things to just happen instead of making things happen like we did in the first game.

“Don’t get me wrong,” he added. “I’m extremely glad we won just a little disappointed in our effort. Baseball is such a funny game and we’ve just got to learn from (this).”

Sophomore slugger Brett Overton drove in six runs in the two games for the Hawks while junior Adam Capps had five RBIs in game one. Justin Bagbey drove in three runs and blasted his first home run of the year.

On the mound, junior right-hander Brett Garrett struck out 10 through seven innings in the first game to get the win while freshman Ryan Moore picked up the win in relief in the second game and also scored the winning run.

For Elizabeth City State, former Lawrence Academy stand-out, sophomore Kyle Meads, drove in three runs and collected one of the Vikings’ three extra-base hits.

“We can score runs and put ourselves in a position to win,” said disappointed ECSU Head Coach Terrance Whittle. “We just can’t seem to stop anybody.”

Junior righty Ryan Bradshaw started the first game for Chowan, but gave up a run after facing just two batters. Then, two batsmen later, Meads unloaded just inside the left field foul pole with a three-run shot. After one more base-hit, the Vikings had chased Bradshaw and held a 4-0 lead.

In the bottom of the first, the Hawks rocked Viking pitching as rudely as they’d been roughed-up half an inning earlier.  Chowan loaded the bases before Capps delivered three runs with a bases-clearing double.

Freshman Colby Wiggins followed and drove in Capps with Overton delivering Wiggins with the third straight hit and Chowan had seized the lead, 5-4.

After getting two more runs in the second inning, Chowan exploded again with six runs in the bottom of the third.

Overton and freshman John Catalano delivered a run apiece before sophomore Brandon Mack drove in a pair and Bagbey homered to right field, driving in two more.

The six runs had Chowan ahead, 13-4.

The fifth inning was another six-run effort for the Hawks, including Overton plating another pair as part of the Hawks’ five-hit attack that made the lead, 19-4.

Chowan closed out their scoring with two more runs in the bottom of the sixth while ECSU pushed across a lone run in the seventh to make for the 16-run margin.

“We wanted to set the tone for the CIAA season,” said Carroll after the win, “solid defense, timely hitting, and taking advantage of mistakes.”

As efficient as Chowan was in the first game, they were somehow just the opposite in the second contest; struggling at the plate to get just four hits and committing four errors.

The Hawks’ first run came on an errant throw on a steal of third base in the bottom of the first; then in the bottom of the fourth they plated another thanks to a sacrifice fly.

The Vikings scored an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead in half; then in Elizabeth City’s next at-bat in the seventh they knotted the game at 2-2 to force extra innings.

After threatening in the seventh, Chowan pulled it out in the bottom of the eighth with the winning play coming with two out and two men on.

Wiggins struck out swinging, but ran to first on a passed ball and when the Vikings’ catcher over threw first base Moore scored from third for the win.

Chowan hosted Lincoln of Pennsylvania in a pair of games on Friday.

Wednesday they’ll play their first conference road games at St. Augustine’s in Raleigh before returning home to host Millersville with three games next weekend.