MARS HILL, N.C. – The Mars Hill baseball team picked up the 9-7 win in their 2018 home opener versus Montreat Monday afternoon at Henderson Field.
Tied at seven entering the bottom of the eighth, Mars Hill was able to score two runs to pull ahead late in the game. With the bases loaded, a single down the left field line from Matt Honeycutt scored Daniel Vitello and Lance Edwards for the go-ahead runs.
Fausto Turro picked up the save for the Lions to complete the comeback bid.
Montreat's bats were live in the top of the first inning, scoring three runs off of Troy Hall. With a runner on second and two outs, Kevynn Arias-Liriano singled to center field, plating Ross Hoffner for the first run of the contest. Caleb Talton singled and advanced to third on a single from Mason Biddix. Arias-Liriano scored to put the Cavaliers up two runs. Another single from Diego Montanez scored Talton.
The Lions cut the lead to one, scoring two runs in the bottom of the second inning. Josh Hall got in scoring position, hitting a one-out double to right-center field. Barrett Hennings' single up the middle allowed Hall to round third and score to get the Lions on the board. Gray McCurry reached first base on a throwing error and Hennings advanced to third. Edwards popped out to right field and Hennings tagged up, scoring on the sacrifice fly.
The Cavaliers reestablished the two-run lead with a solo homerun from Talton down the right field line. Mars Hill answered to tie the game at four in the bottom of the third. With Travis Owens on first, Honeycutt crushed a Daniel Collins' pitch into left-center field for his second homerun of the season.
The Lions took their first lead of the contest in the bottom of the fifth inning off of a Christian Stampler sacrifice fly. Owens advanced to third and scored on a balk from Collins to give Mars Hill a 6-4 lead. Mars Hill extended their lead to three runs following an error from Biddix. After catching a line drive off of the bat of Owens, an errant throw to second in an attempt to double up the Lions allowed Edwards to score.
Montreat rallied to tie the game in the top of the eighth inning. Following an Arias-Liriano walk, Talton homered for the second time in the contest to pull within one. With two outs in the innings, Vance Gutierrez singled, advancing Ryan Pereda to second. A double from Hoffner plated Pereda for the tying run. In an attempt to take the lead, Gutierrez was thrown out at home by Edwards.
Shomarii Thomas picked up the win, allowing four hits and one earned run in one inning of work. Christian Gonzalez was credited with the loss, allowing two run in one inning pitched.
The Cavaliers recorded 15 hits on the afternoon compared to the Lions nine. Four errors by Montreat proved costly as they fall to 2-6 on the season. Mars Hill improves to 2-8 in the 2018 campaign.
Mars Hill hosts Northwood Tuesday, February 20 at Henderson Field. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.