The Braves entered their second home series of the season with a 3-0 record, and they walked out of it undefeated, sweeping the Crimson Hawks 3-0 on February 9 and 10 on Sammy Cox Field.
The first two games were played to seven innings, while the last game went the full nine. Roberto Rivera got the wheels going in this series, as he managed to swipe four of his six bags on the year. The Black and Gold had their ace on the mound for the first game, and he did not disappoint.
Senior Anthony Burke got the win and the quality start in this one, going six innings while giving up only three runs. He now sits at 2-0 to start the young season. Indiana couldn’t get anything going against Burke only being able to muster five hits against him throughout the entire six innings of work.
The offense stayed hot for the Braves as they dropped another double digit outing by scoring eleven runs. Jarratt Mobley belted a three-run shot to left center for his first homer of the year. The second game saw the Braves trail for the first time all season.
They were down 2-1 after the second inning and didn’t gain the lead until a three-run bottom of the fifth powered by a three-run homer from Trey Jacobs. The Crimson Hawks would tie it up 6-6 in the top of the sixth, but UNCP answered back in the bottom half as Rivera came around to score on an Ethan Baucom line drive down the third base line.
The flame throwing righty Gunner Deal struggled with his command a bit in relief, but managed to nail down Indiana in the final two innings to get his second win of the year out of the pen by a score of 7-6.
The final game of the series was a full nine-inning game. Braves pitching got off to a rough start. Starting southpaw Jordan Toney gave up seven earned runs in only 3.1 innings of work, and strikeout artist Cole Lovin came out of the bullpen to give up three runs in three innings.
Luckily for the Black and Gold, they ended up scoring 16 runs to Indiana’s 11 to get the win and solidify the series sweep. Catcher Trevor Clemens was the MVP for this one as he knocked in a season high five runs with three of those coming off of a three-run bomb to right center in the bottom of the sixth, as this outing bumped his batting average up to .538 on the season.
Offense and solid bullpen work have been the key to the Brave’s 6-0 start to the season. They have six players with a batting average of .300 or higher and four batters with eight or more RBI’s this early into the season.
They look to continue their offensive surge when they play their first Peach Belt Conference series at home against Augusta.