MONTGOMERY, Ala. --- Despite matching Methodist University’s 9 hits total, the Huntingdon College baseball team dropped a 9-1 decision to the Monarchs in each team’s season opener on Saturday at Posey Field.
Senior Stephen Bishop led the Hawks (0-1) with the two hits, while seven other Hawks added a hit in the loss. Sophomore Caleb Astin got his first hit after missing last season due to shoulder injury.
Junior John Rice struck out five in 5.0 innings of work, while giving up four hits and two walks. The Decatur, Ga. native didn’t allow a run in his first outing of the season.
Freshman Grant Lowman (0-1) saw his first collegiate action, as he tossed 1 1/3 innings of relief, allowing four runs on three hits, while striking out one and walking three. Junior Tyler Robinson tossed a scoreless 2/3 of an inning, while junior Caleb Cofield worked 1 1/3 innings allowing three runs.
Dustin Brown drove in three runs for the Monarchs (1-0), while Brandon Thigpen had a game-high four hits on the night.
The Hawks jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after a wild pitch sent senior Miles Walding sliding into home plate for the first run of the season. The inning ended with a ground out by senior Drew Harrell, and the Hawks would not cross the plate the rest of the night.
Methodist was held scoreless for five straight innings, until the Monarchs managed two runs in each the sixth and seventh innings taking the lead 4-1. As Huntingdon’s pitching struggled the Monarchs took advantage of a five run top of the ninth, sealing its first win of the new season.
Huntingdon had its opportunities to push across runs, leaving nine runners on base, while the Hawks’ pitchers walked 12 of the Monarchs’ batters in the loss.
The Hawks will return to action on Sunday, Feb. 6, in the second game against Methodist at Posey Field. Huntingdon’s first head coach, John Mabry, will throw out the first pitch, before Huntingdon takes the field at 1 p.m. Live stats will be available at http://fs.huntingdon.edu/livestats/xlive.htm.