CENTRAL, S.C. – The Mars Hill baseball team picked up a 10-2 non-conference win over Southern Wesleyan on Wednesday evening. The Lions improved to 6-2 on the young season, while SWU dropped to 1-7.
Brett Brubaker continued his hot start to the season, leading the Lions at the plate after going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Harrison Keslar also went 2-of-4 from the dish, both hits being doubles, and scored a run in the winning effort. Chandler Young and Gray McCurry added two RBIs each. Lane Grant picked up his first win of the season after pitching three innings, allowing one run and striking out five batters.
After two and a half scoreless innings, Southern Wesleyan finally broke through in the home-half of the third, plating a single run on a pair of hits. That same score held until the top of the sixth. Brubaker led the frame off with a double to left field and came around to score on a Christian Stampler RBI single. SWU pitching retired the next three batters to keep the game even at one.
The Warriors came right back in the bottom of the sixth and posted a run to retake the lead at 2-1. However, the Lions' bats came to life starting with the seventh inning.
Following a leadoff out, Keslar stepped into the box and doubled to right center to set the tone. Daniel Vitello earned a walk and both he and Keslar advanced a base after a balk. Cody Cline tallied a sacrifice fly to tie the game at two and Brubaker collected his lone RBI with a base-knock to center, giving the Lions their first lead, 3-2.
Southern Wesleyan went quietly in its half of the seventh and the Lions plated two more in the eighth to lead 5-2. Luke Baker and Travis Owens started the inning with back-to-back hits before both players came around to score following defensive miscues by the Warriors catcher.
Mars Hill blew the game wide open in the ninth with five runs. With two outs and a runner on first the Lions earned two consecutive walks and a hit-by-pitch to score a run. Chandler Young and Gray McCurry added two RBI singles in succession to give the Lions a commanding 10-2 advantage heading to the bottom of the ninth. SWU tallied a hit in the inning, but that was all as MHU finished the contest with the big win, running its win streak to four straight.
The Lions will return to action on Saturday, February 18 as they begin a three-game set with Lander. The two teams will play a doubleheader at 2 and 5 p.m. before turning around Sunday to finish the series with a single game at 1 p.m.