The Motlow College Bucks will open the home portion of their 2013 baseball schedule when they host Lakeland College Saturday at the Driver Baseball Complex in Moore County. The first pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for noon. The two teams will play a single game on Sunday at noon.
The Bucks have started the season with a 2-2 record, sweeping Lawson State in a doubleheader — 3-2, 9-0 — last week before getting swept 5-2, 7-2 by Calhoun in Decatur on Tuesday.
Calhoun (3-3) jumped on Motlow early in both games Tuesday, taking 3-0 leads in the first inning. Although Bucks’ pitchers settled down after that, the Motlow offense was never able to get untracked and get the big hit when needed. Head coach Dan McShea said that will be his team’s focus heading into the weekend series.
“I felt that we didn’t respond very well to being down early against Calhoun,” said McShea. “We have a young group and we need to be able to give up three runs in the first and then go out and fight and execute and put together quality at-bats for the rest of the game. We will be working hard this week to emphasize that.”
Freshman Josh Hopkins (0-1) took the loss for Motlow in the opener. After the shaky first inning he settled down to pitch 5 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and striking out three. Only three of the four runs he allowed were earned. Logan Dietz pitched the final 2/3 of the sixth inning.
The Bucks scored single runs in the third and fifth innings, with RBIs from Stafford Booth and Ben Holland, who both had two hits. Booth and Cole Veazey slammed doubles for the Bucks as Motlow had seven total hits and stranded eight runners.
Game two saw Calhoun follow its three first inning runs with two more in the second. Motlow closed the gap to 5-2 with two runs in the fourth, but the home team answered with two more of their own in the bottom of the sixth.
Andrew Mullendore (0-1) took the loss, tossing four innings and allowing eight hits and four earned runs. Tanner Moulder pitched a perfect fifth inning and Dennis Hammond pitched the sixth for the Bucks, allowing two hits and the final two runs.
Cory Mitchell had two hits, including a double, to lead the Motlow offense, which had seven total hits and stranded five base runners. Booth, Chris Adams, Clayton Palicki and Chevis Hoover each had doubles for the Bucks.
By C. SCOTT SHASTEEN, Motlow College