MARS HILL, N.C. – The Lions' baseball team set a season high in runs scored as they defeated St. Andrews 17-10 Wednesday afternoon at Henderson Field. Mars Hill evened their record to 10-10 overall while the Knights took their record to 12-12 on the year.
Hunter Merrill went 3-3 with three runs scored and the same number of stolen bases. Daniel Vitello went 2-3 with three RBI and two runs scored. Harrison Keslar went 1-2 with a homerun and four RBI while Travis Owens was 1-4 with a homerun and recorded four RBI as well. Brett Brubaker went 2-3 with a double and two RBI. The three runs scored by Merrill and Vitello set new single game highs for the Lions. Blaine Farrell threw 3.1 innings in relief to obtain the win (2-2). He scattered three hits, allowed no runs and struck out three batters.
Hunter Hackney came off the bench to lead the Knights at the plate. He went 2-3 with a pair of RBI. Justin Williams was 1-2 with a double and two RBI. Mark McEntee took the loss (0-2) on the mound for the Knights.
Mars Hill jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning on two hits and two St. Andrews errors. Lance Edwards drove in two of the runs on a single through the left side.
A double by Brubaker and a fielder's choice hit by Travis Owens sent two more runs to the plate for the Lions in the second inning to extend their lead to 6-0. St. Andrews scored half of their total runs in the top of the third inning on six hits and one Lion error. Lee Poteat hit a two RBI triple in the at-bat.
The Lions answered scoring five runs of their own in the bottom half of the third inning on three hits and one Knight miscue to lead 11-5. Vitello hit a two-RBI single before Owens belted a three-run homerun to account for the runs.
A three-run homerun by Keslar in the fifth frame gave MHU a 14-5 advantage. The Lions plated three additional runs in the sixth inning on the same number of hits to end their scoring in the contest as they took a 17-5 advantage. Cody Cline hit a RBI double in the at-bat.
St. Andrews fought back scoring four runs in the eighth inning on four hits and two Lion errors. The Knights were able to push across one more run in the ninth inning to make the final tally 17-10 before the Lions' defense halted any further comeback.
Mars Hill will play a three-game South Atlantic Conference series at Wingate this weekend. The teams will meet for a single game on Friday at 6 p.m. and then meet for a double-header at 1 p.m. on Saturday.