By Matt Green
FLORENCE, Ala. – Josh Cyr and Dylan Boston drove in three runs apiece and North Alabama starter Chad Boughner tossed a complete game two-hitter as the Lions defeated visiting Shorter 10-0 in Gulf South Conference baseball action on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, North Alabama improves to 7-4 overall and 1-0 in the GSC. The Hawks, playing in their first conference game as a GSC member, fall to 1-12 overall and 0-1 in the league.
UNA worked some two-out magic in the second to break a scoreless tie then broke the game open with a five-run fourth en route to a win in the first of a three-game series between the clubs.
Shorter starter Russell Crosby got the first two outs of the second frame before surrendering a two-out walk to UNA's Jake Ward. Bradley Noland followed with a single to put a pair on the bags before Thomas Lundborg hit an RBI single and Eric Wilson an RBI double to make it 2-0 in favor of the Lions.
Noland stroked an RBI single to start things off for North Alabama in the fourth. Andrew Almon, Cyr and Boston followed later in the frame with consecutive RBI singles to push the lead to 7-0 for UNA. The Lions tacked on three more – the final blow coming by way of a two-run double from Boston – in the fifth for the 10-0 final margin.
Shorter's two hits came in the first two innings as the Hawks were unable to capitalize on some early momentum.
Cal Hardie led off the game with a single and advanced to second on a Jesse Gavigan walk, but both were stranded as a fly out and strike out ended the Shorter first. Darius Jennings singled and moved into scoring position on a Charlie Gillis ground out in the second, but Boughner forced a fly out to snuff Shorter's rally and end the second inning.
Crosby lasted four innings and yielded seven earned runs on eight hits. Brodie Orr finished the game for the Hawks, tossing the final two innings in relief.
For UNA, Boston, Ward and Noland each recorded two hits. Boughner fanned just two, but walked only one batter while avoiding any real trouble after the first couple innings.
Shorter and UNA will wrap up their three-game set tomorrow, Sunday, March 3, with a double header beginning at 1 pm ET.