After being pounded by visiting North Alabama 15-1 in the opening contest of a double header on Saturday at Olympic Field, the Lee University Flames bounced back behind the pitching of Jeremy Stawychny in the nightcap to win, 7-1.
The Flames (24-17, 11-12) will face the Lions (21-21, 11-15) again on Sunday afternoon. The opening pitch of the third game Gulf South Conference series is slated for 2 p.m.
LEE 7, NORTH ALABAMA 1
Stawychny (5-4) lost his shutout in the seventh inning but was in control all the way. He gave up six hits, fanned three and did not walk a batter in the seven-inning affair.
The Flames took the lead for good in the second inning off losing North Alabama pitcher Riley Sanderson (5-6) when Blake Ray reached on an error, took second on a walk to Cameron Brewster and scored on Jordan Stewart's single. Ray started another rally in the third when he doubled and scored on a single by Josh Silver.
For the day Ray had five hits, scored three runs and knocked in another.
"With some of our other hitters struggling, Blake has really picked us up in recent games. He was on top of his game today'" said coach Mark Brew.
Lee put the contest away in the fourth inning with three runs. Freshman catcher Nathan Wierzgac began the surge with a single. Siosi Poti was hit by a pitch. Andres Nelo had a one-base hit. Derrick Pitt delivered an sacrifice fly that plated a run, and Zac Hawkins doubled to score Nelo.
The Flames put the icing on the sweet win in the sixth. Poti doubled to left center. Hawkins got his second RBI with a single and then scored on a two-base hit by the ever-present Ray.
All totaled Lee had 12 hits, five going for extra bases. Brewster joined Ray (2), Poti and Hawkins with the two-baggers.
"I'm proud of the way our guys bounced back," admitted Brew. "We are battling to finish as high as possible in a very tough league, and this kept us in front or North Alabama. We've just got to find a way to do it again tomorrow."
NORTH ALABAMA 15, LEE 1
The Lions took advantage of six Lee errors and waltzed to the opening-game win. They also had 16 hits against four Lee hurlers and did the major damage in the third inning when they sent 13 hitters to the plate and tallied eight runs.
Grayson Bailey (1-1) was the starting and losing hurler. However, he only gave up one earned runs in the two innings he worked. Carlos Ditren, Lucas Barnett and Aaron Ashby followed Bailey to the mound. All totaled Lee's usually strong defense was guilty of six errors.
Brantley Claunch (4-4) went all the way in the seven-inning (mercy-rule) contest for the Lions. He gave up six hits and one earned run.
Ray was a perfect 3-for-3 and scored Lee's only run in the loss. Pitts, Brewster and Wierzgac had the other hits and Wierzgac had the RBI.
Kyle Conkle was the top gun for the winners. He banged out two hits, scored twice and knocked in three runs. Josh Carpenter added three hits, and Bradley Noland tallied three runs and stroked a pair of hits.