Lions Sweep Baseball Opener

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After getting just one hit over the first four innings Sunday, the University of North Alabama’s bats exploded for 24 runs on 22 hits in a season-opening double-header sweep of Kentucky State, 15-3 and 9-1.

UNA trailed Kentucky State 1-0 in the opener entering the fifth inning, with the lone hit coming as a bunt single off the bat of Josh Doyle. But the flood gates opened for UNA in the fifth as the Lions scored eight, then added seven more runs in the sixth.

The Lions jumped on Kentucky State early in the nightcap, scoring four runs in the first inning. UNA then added a single run in the fourth and four more in the fifth. UNA starter Michael Watkins carried a no-hitter into the fifth before allowing an RBI single to Bryan Berry.

Johnny Hornbuckle won the opener for UNA, allowing three runs on five hits over five innings. He walked three and struckout five. Brantley Claunch pitched two scoreless innings of relief with three strikeouts.

Kentucky State scored a run in the first and extened its lead to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the fifth. With one out in the bottom of the fifth, UNA had nine straight batters reach base in an eight-run outburst. J.P. LaMunyon had a two-run homer to cut the lad to 3-2 and Andrew Almon’s RBI single tied the game. Doyle, Daniel Korpi, Josh Carpenter and Drew Parker all followed with hits and drove in runs. In the sixth, UNA used five hits, two walks and a hit batter to plate seven more runs. Doyle was four-for-five in the game and Michael Schmidt, Jake Sloan and Parker added two hits each.

In the first inning of the second game, Schmidt walked and Doyle reached on an error and both scored on a double by LaMunyon. Josh Cyr drove in the third run on a ground-out and an RBI single by Josh Carpenter made it 4-0.

Watkins, meanwhile, was shutting down the Thorobreds, facing just 17 batters over five innings. After the Lions made it 5-0 in the fourth, they used three hits, two walks and a hit batter to score four more in the fifth.

Jacob Westerhouse pitched two scoreless innings of releif for the Lions, striking out three of the six batters he faced.

Schmidt and Carpenter had two hits each for the Lions

UNA plays at home Tuesday against Martin Methodist at 2 p.m.

Courtesy UNA Media Relations