April 7, 2012

Falcons Clinch Postseason Berth with Sweep of Augusta

MONTEVALLO, Ala. – The University of Montevallo baseball team (20-18, 14-10 PBC) clinched their first trip to the Peach Belt Conference Tournament in program history and their first postseason trip since the 2008 season with a sweep of Augusta State University (11-29, 3-21 PBC) at home. The Falcons took game one 7-5 and then came from behind in game two to win 5-3. UM was led by sophomore Will Fulmer (Palm Harbor, Fla./East Lake) who was 5-for-9 at the plate with a double and a run scored over the two games. Senior Wes Rich (Pelham, Ala./Pelham) came in at the end of both games to pick up a pair of saves to bring his total to six on the season. He allowed just one hit in 2.2 innings of work with three strikeouts.

Junior Vincente Andrews (Phenix City, Ala./Chattahoochee Valley C.C.) was 3-for-7 with a homerun, three RBI, three runs scored and a pair of hit by pitches. His homerun came in the seventh inning of game two as he hit a three-run homerun to give the Falcons a 4-2 lead.

Senior Heath Peterson (Phenix City, Ala./Chattahoochee Valley C.C.) was 3-for-8 with two RBI, a hit by pitch, a stolen base and a run scored. Freshman Zack Willoughby (Boaz, Ala./Boaz) was 3-for-9 with two RBI. Senior Kirk Waligora (Hartland, Mich./Lambuth University) was 3-for-4 in game one with three runs scored and a walk.

Junior Nathan Flanagan (Tupelo, Miss./Itawamba C.C.) took the mound in game one and went 5.0 innings with three strikeouts and a walk. He allowed just four hits and one run as he took home his first win of the season. Sophomore Alex Guilford (Montgomery, Ala./Alabama Christian Academy) made the start in game two and pitched 7.0 innings with four strikeouts and no walks. He allowed just four hits and two runs including one earned. He took home the win and improved his record to 3-4 on the year.

In game one the Falcons took the early lead scoring two runs in the first, four in the second and one in the third but that would be all their scoring the entire game.

The Jaguars scored a single run in the fifth and then four in the eighth to cut the lead to just two but Rich came in with one out in the eighth and struck out two of the three batters he faced in the inning. He then sat down the side in the ninth to secure the Falcons 13th conference win of the season.

In game two it was the Jaguars who jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the first. Neither team scored in the second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth inning.

Down 2-0 heading into the seventh the Falcons opened the inning with a walk by sophomore Alec Stiver (Venice, Fla./Venice). Junior Austin Dubberly (Helena, Ala./Pelham) then sacrificed him over to second. Freshman Cody White (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa) hit a single through the left side to make it first and third with one out. After a pitching change senior Josh Headley (Gardendale, Ala./Gardendale) hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to score UM's first run of the game. Fulmer then reached on an error by the shortstop which set the table for Andrews. With a two-two count Andrews connected on a ball and sent it over the right centerfield fence to give the Falcons a 4-2 lead. After a single by Peterson, Willoughby grounded out to end the inning.

The Jaguars made things interesting in the eighth as they scored a single run off of two hits and an error to cut the lead to just one. Senior Blaine Rosenberg (Birmingham, Ala./Furman University) had the answer in the bottom of the eighth as he hit a one-out solo homerun down the right field line to give the Falcons a two-run cushion.

Rich came in, in the top of the ninth and set down the side in order to pick up his sixth save of the season.

The Falcons will return to action Wednesday, April 11 at 6:00 p.m. as they host the University of North Alabama. The University will honor the men's basketball team prior to the game with a ceremony starting at 5:30. The world famous ZOOperstars will also be on hand to keep the crowd entertained.