Thomasville Times Enterprise

February 7, 2014

TU baseball continues surge

Daniel Kramer
CNHI

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. —

The Night Hawks are shrugging at the grind of doubleheaders.

Thomas University’s baseball squad won another pair of same-day games for the second time in a week on Friday, ousting Florida Memorial 15-6 in the opening contest and 7-1 in the finale.

“It certainly is grueling playing back-to-back nine inning games but I’m proud of the way we showed up,” Thomas coach Mike Lee said. “We swung the bat very well in the first game but laid down a little midway through the second and lost soem focus. We’ve got to fix it, but it’s hard to complain about 30 something hits and 20-plus runs.”

The Night Hawks are now 2-0 in Sun Conference play, riding a balanced attack with a .305 team batting average and 1.17 earned run average.

The Night Hawks scored in all but two innings in game one, notching three runs in the first and fourth with a pair of one run outings sandwiched in the second and third.

KC Meijia, Tyler Palmer, Damon Jackson and Andrew Crane led the charge with three hits and two RBIs each. Pitcher Kurtis Gens, following his shutout performance last Saturday, threw four strikeouts and allowed just five hits in eight innings before Nick Riley came in to close.

“We should’ve mercy ruled them, which would’ve saved the pitching,” Lee said. “That bothers me a little bit because we had more than one opportunity to do that. But it’s hard to gripe when you win a double header in conference and on the road.”

Thomas continued its surgew with three runs in the first inning of game two. Meija reacahed on a single to right field, Brandon Singer reached on a bunt, Trey Griffin got on with a fielder’s choice. The latter two scored on the heels of a double to deep center by Josh Bruijin.The early spark gave the Night Hawks a lead that it wouldn’t relinquish.

“The field down here, we hit some balls that would’ve easily been [a home run] if we were at our place,” Lee said, noting that the Florida Memorial left centerfield wall expands to 422 feet. “We toned it down a little with liners and grounders, because trying to hit that far, it’s just not going to happen. We used the whole field today and we did it well.”

The run support provided pitcher Ben Overman a comfortable cushion to churn out an eight inning performance with eight strikeouts and just three hits allowed.

Lee likes what he’s seeing from his number one and two aces this early in the season.

Thomas returns to the diamond today for the final game against the Lions. The Night Hawks then have a six-day break before next weekend’s series at Webber International (4-1, 1-1).

“I like our chances,” Lee said. “We play an hour later. We’re swinging the bat well.”