The affair, shortened to only seven innings because of the “mercy” run rule, saw the Flames pound out 17 hits, including two doubles and two triples in the 17-2 romp over the Crusaders.
Siosi Poti, Andres Nelo and Blake Ray directed the assault on the rivals from Chattanooga. Combined, the threesome had nine hits, scored eight runs and batted in seven runs. Poti had three hits in four trips to the dish, including a double and triple. He also scored three times and collected an RBI.
Not to be outdone, Nelo ripped a double and two one-base knocks. He was the RBI leader with four and scored twice. Ray followed with a two-base hit to go along with two singles. He crossed home plate three times and knocked in two runners as the Flames built up a 14-0 lead by the end of three innings.
Nathan Wierzgac, Cameron Brewster and Cameron Scott countered with a pair of RBIs apiece. Zac Hawkins scored and posted an RBI, while Jordan Stewart had a hit and RBI, and Josh Silver had a hit and tallied twice. Zack Zyburt tripled and scored in his only official time at the plate.
CJ Lusted (2-2) got credit for the pitching win. In four innings he allowed two hits, no runs, fanned two and walked a pair. Ryan Zimmer came on for one scoreless inning and surrendered two hits. Carols Ditren was called on for an inning and gave up one hit and one earned run. Aaron Ashby wrapped things up in the seventh, allowing a couple of walks but no runs.
Temple starter Dustin Crumley was charged with the pitching defeat. Jan Ramirez hurled the final four innings. Caden Shadrick had two of the Crusaders' four hits. Josh Thomas picked up two RBIs with a double in the sixth inning.
The Flames (22-13) will be in Cleveland, Miss., on Saturday and Sunday for another rugged three-game GSC series against Delta State.