CLINTON, S.C. – Scoring was at a premium again on Sunday, as a three-run first inning by Radford was good enough to propel the Highlanders to a 4-1 victory over Presbyterian in the series finale at the PC Baseball Complex. PC drops to 14-16 overall and 3-3 in the Big South, while Radford improves to 12-15, 3-3 in the Big South.
How It Happened
Radford got things started with a big inning in its first-at bat. Richard De la Cruz drew a leadoff walk, Danny Hrbek singled to center and Kyle Butler reached on a hit-by-pitch to load the bases with no outs. An infield single by Jonathan Gonzalez scored the first run of the game, before a bases loaded infield fly accounted for the first out. Matt Roth then doubled to right to score two more and make it a 3-0 Radford lead.
PC answered with its lone run of the game in the bottom of the first. Cletis Avery tripled to right center on the second pitch of the at-bat to put a runner just 90 feet away with one out. AJ Priaulx followed with a walk with a passed ball on the final pitch of the at-bat allowing Avery to score from third to make it a 3-1 game.
Both pitchers settled in from there. PC starter Hayden Deal faced just three above the minimum over his final 5.0 innings of work, retiring eight straight at one point, including seven straight strikeouts. Radford starter Kyle Zurak was sharp in his first collegiate start, retiring 14 straight batters after the first inning before allowing a one-out walk in the sixth.
Radford tacked on one more run in the eighth. Butler doubled to lead off the inning with a fielder’s choice and a single loading the bases with no outs. After a fielder’s choice at home for the first out, a bases loaded walk by Anthony Miano brought in a run to make it a 4-1 game.
Pitchers of Record
Zurak (3-0) earned the victory with his strong performance, allowing just one unearned run on one hit with two walks and nine strikeouts.
Deal (2-3) was the tough luck loser, allowing three runs, all in the first inning, on five hits with a career-high-tying 10 strikeouts against two walks. It was the second time this season that Deal managed double-digit punchouts, recording 10 against Stony Brook on February 26. The lefty struck out seven straight batters at one point, including striking out the side in the fourth.
Mack Krupp earned his first save of the season, working a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close out the game.
Player of the Game
Cletis Avery scored PC’s only run of the game, after a triple in the first inning. Avery provided the big hit in game two with a two-run home run to spark PC in the win. He finished the weekend with the two extra-base hits to go with three runs and two RBIs.
- PC pitching totaled 12 strikeouts for the second straight game. The Blue Hose totaled 32 strikeouts in the three-game series, the most in any series this season.
- Eric Miles worked a scoreless inning in relief, recording a 1-2-3 seventh with a flyout, strikeout and groundout.
- Robert Moss went 1.2 innings in relief, allowing just one hit with one strikeout and one walk. Moss came on and worked out of a jam in the eighth, needing just two pitches to get two outs and strand two runners.
PC heads to NC Central in midweek action on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. first pitch. The Blue Hose then return to conference action with a three-game series at Winthrop next weekend.