MARS HILL, N.C. – The Lions' baseball team swept a double-header from Wingate Saturday afternoon to win the three-game South Atlantic Conference series. Mars Hill outscored the Bulldogs 23-3 in the two games on Saturday. Mars Hill improved to 12-11 overall and an even 3-3 in the conference. Wingate fell to 13-11 on the season, 4-2 in the SAC.
Game 1: MHU 9. WU 3
Hunter Merrill went 3-5 with two RBI and a run scored to lead the Lions at the plate in game one. Daniel Vitello and Brett Brubaker both hit homeruns and recorded two hits apiece in the win. Travis Owens and Lance Edwards also tallied two hits each while Christian Stampler accounted for two RBI. Caleb Edwards pitched seven innings allowing just two earned runs while striking out seven batters to pick up his first win (1-0) on the season.
Joseph Mason led the Bulldogs going 3-4 with two doubles and the same number of runs scored. Ty Andrus followed as he went 3-5 at the plate with a double. Hunter Hamilton took the loss (2-1) throwing six innings allowing five earned runs and struck out eight batters.
A sacrifice fly by Colby Barnette scored Mason in the Bulldogs first at-bat to give Wingate a 1-0 lead. Edwards scored on a fielder's choice in the third inning to tie the contest at 1-all.
Mars Hill scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning on three hits and two Bulldog errors to go up 4-1. Merrill scored two of the runs with a single to right-center. Andrew Llewellyn hit a solo homerun in the bottom half of the inning to make the score 4-2.
After Brubaker hit a solo homerun in the fifth inning, Mars Hill scored three runs in the seventh inning to put the game away. The three runs were scored on five hits highlighted by a two-RBI single from Stampler.
Wingate scored their final run in the bottom half of the inning but Vitello answered for the Lions with a solo homerun in the top of the eighth inning to make the final tally 9-3 in favor of the visitors.
Game 2: MHU 14, WU 0
Alec Bivins threw a one-hit, complete game shutout, to lead the Lions to a 14-0 victory over the Bulldogs in game two to secure the series sweep. He did not walk a single batter while striking out six.
Matt Honeycutt went 3-3 with a run scored and three RBI to pace the Lions at the plate. Brubaker was 2-4 with a homerun and two RBI. Devin Mangum recorded three hits including a homerun and three RBI.
McCann Mellett had the only hit for the Bulldogs. Hunter Morgan suffered the loss (3-3) for Wingate on the mound.
Mars Hill opened the game scoring four runs on five hits. Brubaker hit a two-run homerun and then Honeycutt drove in the next two runs on a single up the middle. The Lions added three runs in the fourth frame on three hits highlighted by a two-RBI triple by Vitello.
Mars Hill then exploded for seven runs in the sixth inning on five hits and one Wingate error. Mangum accounted for three of the four runs. He hit a two-run homerun in the at-bat and then scored another run by hitting a single up the middle.
Mars Hill will host St. Thomas Aquinas on Tuesday, March 14. Game time at Henderson Field is set for 2 p.m.