Chowan falls to Millersville

Published 5:40 pm Thursday, March 15, 2012

MURFREESBORO – Winning the rubber by crossing the rubber.

After splitting a pair of games Tuesday against 2011 NCAA Division-II Baseball Final Four team, Millersville University, Chowan dropped the ‘rubber game’ of the three-game set against the Marauders 8-1 Wednesday at Hawkins Field.

Once again, Tyler Ross was the hard-luck loser as the Burlington native and Western Alamance southpaw saw his record fall to 0-5 despite striking out three and walking six in six innings of work.

Ross also surrendered all eight Millersville runs, seven of them earned, on a nine-hit outing. Also for Chowan, Ryan Bradshaw, Brett Garrett and Brandon Mack each pitched one scoreless inning in relief.

For Millersville, winning pitcher Pat Kelley picked up his first-ever collegiate win allowing four hits and three walks while striking out three.

At the plate, Chowan junior William Ward was 2-for-4 and scored the Hawks’ lone run in the bottom of the ninth.

Despite what seemed like a pounding from the Marauders, Chowan was able step it up defensively with some tremendous glove work; turning a pair of double plays and making several outstanding grabs that robbed the visitors of extra base hits.

“We were playing a very good opponent in the middle of the week,” said first-year Chowan coach Taylor Furlough of the game which had an early start time because of Chowan being on Spring Break.

“When you play like that your pitching’s a little low,” he added. “Besides, we’re coming off a weekend series and have a bigger series coming up this weekend.”

Chowan picked up a pair of key Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association wins this past weekend in Raleigh with a three-game sweep of Shaw.  They will host Virginia State at Hawkins Field this Saturday and Sunday in another pivotal CIAA match-up.

“We couldn’t quite go a hundred-plus percent at them (Millersville) pitching-wise with such a big series coming up,” he continued, “but that said, Millersville swung the bats well, played good defense and are a great fundamental team.

“But we’ll get there,” he concluded with a grin.

Indeed, the Marauders only outhit the home team 10-to-8, but three of those were for extra bases including a solo homerun.

Millersville picked up their first two runs in the top of the first on a sacrifice fly and a double steal.

Chowan had their first threat of the game silenced when a runner in scoring position was picked off second base.  Then in the second inning, after another pick-off, the Hawks got a runner to third base only to leave him stranded.

The Marauders (10-6) picked up four more runs on four hits in the top of the third for a 6-0 lead. They closed the scoring in the top of the fifth adding an unearned run along with a wind-aided homerun.

Meanwhile, Chowan collected just one hit over the next four innings; but after getting solo singles in the seventh and eighth the Hawks finally cracked through in the ninth.

Ward opened things by singling up the middle.  Pinch-hitter Dallas Perdue followed with a shot down the right field line that advanced Ward to third where he scored two outs later on a passed ball to get Chowan on the board.

“Our top four or five arms are going to pitch well,” said Furlough. “Offensively and defensively we’re still pretty young, but a key is having one-through-nine being ready to hit and giving us something offensively.”

Chowan (13-15) opens their home series against Virginia State with a double-header Saturday beginning at noon followed by a single game Sunday at 2 p.m.