Thomasville Times Enterprise

March 5, 2014

Night Hawks earn road shutout over Eckerd

Daniel Kramer
CNHI

THOMASVILLE —

Thomas’ 2-0 victory over Eckerd on Wednesday was won from the mound.

Fresh off a stout outing in Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader win over Ave Maria, sophomore Evan Morgan stifled the Tritons to earn his third win of the season.

Morgan threw seven of the nine innings on Wednesday and allowed just four hits and no walks while throwing four strikeouts.

Kurt Gens and John Gainey, arguably Thomas’ two strongest pitchers, came in for the final two innings, with Gainey earning his first save of the season.

But Wednesday was about Morgan, the reliable No. 3 in a bolstered rotation.

“He was under control and worked ahead of most hitters,” coach Mike Lee said of Morgan. “He’s a guy that consistently does what we ask of him.”

Eckerd was also stout from the mound. The Tritons’ pitchers allowed just five hits and held eight Thomas runners stranded. 

Night Hawks catcher Andrew Crane built the early lead by reaching on a bunt then moving to third on a Trey Griffin double before scoring on a Jeremy Crosby sacrifice fly.

Both teams went scoreless the next seven innings before Crane scored the final run on a bases loaded walk.

Gainey allowed a leadoff single in the ninth that led to a fielders choice on the ensuing at bat. The remaining runner was then thrown out trying to steal second, and Gainey then shut the door with a closeout strikeout.

“That’s why I like him in that [closer] role,” Lee said of Gainey. “He’s suited for it and has the right mentality for it. He’s confident that he knows what to do. He just goes out and does his thing.”

Thomas will look to win for the seventh time in eight games when it travels to Daytona Beach, Fla. on Friday for a weekend series against conference foe and NAIA No. 3 Embry-Riddle.

“They always pitch it well. They’re starting to swing it well, too, which makes them dangerous,” Lee said. “They’re starting to come around altogher. It’ll be another test.”