Wallace State left-hander Drake Cole (15) pitched in relief during the first game of the doubleheader.
HANCEVILLE – Wallace State’s baseball team continued its early-season success over the weekend, winning a four-game series against Wabash Valley (Ill.) College.
The Lions swept a doubleheader on Saturday and clinched the series on Sunday by rallying for four runs in the bottom of seventh. Cole Collins capped the comeback with a walk-off single.
Wallace State (14-2) had its 13-game winning streak snapped in Sunday’s opener, but has still won 14 of its first 16 games in 2017.
“We’ve got a few guys offensively who are swinging the bat exceptionally well, and our pitching has been good. It’s been encouraging to beat some good teams and good arms. I’ve had scouts tell me Wabash Valley may have the best pitching staff we’ll see this season,” said Wallace State coach Randy Putman, who is 13 wins away from 1,000 career victories at Wallace State. “We are a confident bunch right now, especially after beating as a team as strong as Wabash Valley.”
Sophomores Seth McWaters and Blake Schilleci combined on a seven-hit shutout in the series opener. McWaters (2-0) started and went 4 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and striking out four. Schilleci earned the save, allowing only one hit over the final 2 1/3 innings.
Maison Goodwin had two hits, including a double, in the opener, Palmer Ford singled and scored, and Dalton Sinquefield added a single. Conner Daniel and
Billy Reed accounted for Wallace State’s RBIs, each driving in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Wallace State won the second game, 5-3, on Saturday.
Goodwin went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored, Kevin Bryant had four RBIs behind a double and a single, Sinquefield had an RBI single and Daniel singled and scored.
Blake Rivera got the starting nod for the Lions and went the first three innings, allowing two runs on three hits. He struck out four Wabash Valley batters.
Wallace Henry pitched three scoreless innings in relief, striking out three, and Braxton Light notched the save with a perfect frame.
Wallace State dropped Sunday’s opener, 10-5, snapping their winning streak.
Sinquefield had a double and three RBIs in the loss for Wallace State. The freshman from Smith’s Station is off to a scolding collegiate start, hitting .442 with a pair of homers and a conference-best 20 RBIs.
Ford had a pair of hits for the Lions, Collins and Goodwin each had a single and scored a run and Jonathan Smith and Billy Reed each singled. Bryant and Kolby Robinson had RBIs.
Jesse Scott went 5 1/3 innings on the mound. He allowed one run on three hits and struck out six.
The Lions rebounded in the series finale with the seventh-inning drama.
Collins, a sophomore from Cullman, finished 2-for-2 with the game-winning hit and a stolen base. Heath Haskins had a pair of hits, including a double, and three RBIs for Wallace State, and Robinson had two hits and an RBI.
Reed added an RBI double for Wallace State, Sinquefield singled and scored a run and Ford scored twice.
Freshman Tanner Rusk was the winning pitcher in relief. He allowed two hits over the final 1 1/3 innings. Peyton Hayes and Trevor Sanders also combined for three scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Wallace State’s next games are in Decatur, Miss., this weekend.
Wallace State’s softball team
Wallace State’s softball team won three games at a weekend tournament hosted by Faulkner State. The Lions beat Baton Rouge Community College in their tournament opener, and also notched victories against LSU-Eunice, the defending NJCAA Division II national champs, and Pearl River Community College in Gulf Shores.
Wallace State blasted five homers in a 12-4 victory over Baton Rouge. Charlee West, a freshman from Prattville, hit a pair of homers and drove in three runs, Taylor Beshears and Amber Hammonds each had a solo shot and Madison Grant cranked a two-run homer.
Also against Baton Rouge, Karra Elam finished 3-for-3 with three runs scored, Brittany Ledbetter went 3-for-3 with an RBI double, Tanner Robertson had a single and Jodie Farnetti added a pair of RBIs. Robertson, Abby Connally, Erin Whitlock and Lyndsay Reeves each had a stolen base.
Savannah Bolton was the winning pitcher. She went four innings and struck out four.
Against LSU-Eunice, it was Beshears’ turn to have a multi-homer game. Beshears, the 2016 ACCC North Division Player of the Year, finished 2-for-3 with two homers, three RBIs and two runs scored. Ledbetter added an RBI double for Wallace State, which won in extra innings.
Grant contributed a double for the Lions, while Robertson, Elam, Connally and Hammonds each had a single. Robertson, Hammonds and Farnetti had stolen bases.
Ledbetter tossed a complete game. She gave up three runs on six hits, striking out five and walking two.
In a 9-1 win over Pearl River, West hit her third homer of the weekend and upped her season total to four.
Beshears had two more hits, including a double, Robertson had a pair of singles and an RBI and Hammonds was 1-for-2 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored.
Connally, Whitlock, Farnetti, Elam and Daugherty each scored a run.
Grant picked up the win on the mound with a complete game of her own, scattering a lone hit. She struck out five and walked six.
In a rain-shortened loss to Gulf Coast Community College, Ledbetter had a pair of hits, including a double.
In a 3-2 loss to Jones (Mississippi) County, Beshears hit a solo homer, among two hits, and had two stolen bases.
Wallace State travels to Chattanooga State on Tuesday for a doubleheader. The Lions’ home opener is Friday vs. Columbia State, beginning at 2 p.m.
For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit www.athletics.wallacestate.edu.