Outscoring visiting Kentucky State 30-2 in a three-game sweep at Olympic Field, the Lee University Flames are off to a scorching 6-0 start to the new baseball season.
The Flames defeated the Thoroughbreds 9-1 Saturday afternoon, to go along with Friday’s 11-1, 10-0 tallies in the series opening doubleheader.
In the finale, Lee posted all the runs it would need with six runs in the first inning and two more in the second. A solo run in the fourth inning put a cap on the home score. The Thoroughbreds (0-6) ended the shut out attempt with a single run in the sixth.
Josh Silver led Lee’s 12-hit attack with three singles. Derrick Pitts, Jordan Stewart and Blake Ray tallied two hits each. Ray doubled, and Stewart launched his first home run of the year, a solo shot in the fourth.
Andres Nelo delivered the Flames’ final extra-base hit with a double. Zacary Hawkins and Seth Gower singled in the win.
Dustin Lawson allowed just one hit and struck out five over four innings to earn the win.
Five Lee pitchers split the final innings. Ryan Zimmer fanned two of the three batters he faced. Carlos Ditren gave up one run on two hits, while striking out two. Jeremy Bales struck out the side in the seventh, Lucas Barnett was tabbed for two hits and Pitts whiffed two in the ninth.
Cornell Brown took the loss after allowing seven runs, seven hits, walking one and striking out one in one inning of work.
The Flames take to the road for the first time this season on Tuesday. Lee faces Carson-Newman College in a non-conference game at 2 p.m. in Jefferson City, Tenn.
With Siosi Poti and Derrick Pitts swinging the heavy bats and six different pitchers locking down visiting Kentucky State hitters, the Lee baseball team improved to 5-0 on a cool Friday afternoon by posting 11-1, 10-0 victories.
In the twinbill, the Flames collected 21 hits, 10 going for extra bases. At the same time, the Lee pitching staff continued to standout. In 14 innings, they allowed only three hits, one earned run and struck out 20 Kentucky State batters.
"Once again, I thought we pitched extremely well on a very cold day," Coach Mark Brew said. "Our defense was solid, and I was pleased to see how far our bats have come in a week's time."
Poti had a single, double and triple, also scoring twice and knocking in five runs in the opening game of a Friday’s twinbill. The junior centerfielder had three hits in five trips to the plate.
Jordan Stewart and Zack Zyburt stroked doubles and also singled as the Flames pounded out nine hits. Zyburt also scored three runs and Stewart collected a pair of RBI.
Seth Gower countered with a two-run homer over the left-centerfield wall. Zacary Hawkins chipped in with a hit and two runs scored. He also turned in a nifty double play from his first-base position.
Jeremy Stawychny hurled four innings and picked up his second win of the season. He allowed only two hits, one earned run and struck out seven and did not walk a Thoroughbred hitter. Lefty Grayson Bailey came on to pitch two innings. He gave up one hit, struck out three and did not walk a batter. Freshman Rob Gustitus closed things out in the seventh. He also did not allow a hit and walked one batter.
"Siosi (Poti) was locked in during game one and had three great swings that obviously led us offensively," noted Brew. "Zyburt was also very impressive in his first collegiate start."
Not to be outdone, Nikolay Uherek, Kyle Briner and CJ Lusted combined to shut out the Thoroughbreds in the nightcap. Uherek surrendered six hits and struck out six in four innings. Briner was perfect in his two innings and also struck out two. Lusted followed by pitching hitless ball and fanning two in two innings.
The Flames ripped 12 hits off a pair of Kentucky State hurlers, and five went for extra bases. Pitts was 3-of-4 with a home run, double and a single. He drove in three runs and scored three times. Poti doubled and singled. He scored twice and collected an RBI. Cameron Scott knocked in two runs. He also scored once.
"Pitts followed up in game two with a very solid effort at the plate," added the coach.
For the losing Thoroughbreds, Michael Swayne had two hits and Matt Freire doubled. Joe Dotson was the starting and losing pitcher. In the opening game, Josh Dunn pitched five innings and was charged with the defeat.