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Hawks hold off N.C. Wesleyan in baseball season opener

Jackson Cruce, shown here last season, picked up the win in Friday's 10-7 season-opening win over North Carolina Wesleyan. In six innings of work, Cruce struck out six, walked three and allowed two earned runs on four hits. (Photo by Wesley Lyle)
Jackson Cruce, shown here last season, picked up the win in Friday's 10-7 season-opening win over North Carolina Wesleyan. In six innings of work, Cruce struck out six, walked three and allowed two earned runs on four hits. (Photo by Wesley Lyle)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Huntingdon baseball team opened the season with a 10-7 win over North Carolina Wesleyan on Friday.

The Hawks (1-0, 1-0 USA South) took a 5-0 lead in the third inning and added five more runs in the seventh and eighth innings to hold off the Battling Bishops (0-1, 0-1 USA South).

Game 2 of the three-game series is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at Posey Field.

In their first game with the Hawks, junior second baseman Mason Throneberry and junior right fielder Anthony Spivey combined for six RBIs. Throneberry was 2-for-5 and drove in the first two runs of the game. He added a pair of RBI singles in the third and seventh innings. Spivey tripled in two runs in the eighth inning and finished 2-for-5 and scored a run.

Sophomore first baseman Will Pharis, who drew three walks, finished with three runs and a RBI and junior designated hitter Jordan Criswell was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Junior center fielder Patrick Kucera, freshman catcher Coleson Taylor and senior Jordan Freeman each had a RBI and a run. Junior left fielder Alec Raley scored one run.

Junior Jackson Cruce (1-0) earned the win in six innings. Cruce carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning and finished with six strikeouts, three walks and two earned runs on four hits. Dalton Dalrymple pitched 1 2/3 innings of relief before Freeman picked up the save in 1 1/3 innings. Freeman struck out two, walked one and allowed three earned runs on two hits.

Freeman took the mound in the eighth inning with the bases loaded, two outs and Huntingdon leading 6-4. Freeman got a strikeout to end the inning. N.C. Wesleyan scored three runs in the ninth inning before Freeman forced a pop out and a ground out to end the game.