By James Vallone
ROME -- The Shorter Hawks took to the field for the first time this season from the Ledbetter Complex, losing to visiting Barry University in both games of the Saturday afternoon double header.
Game one saw the visiting Buccaneers jump out to an early lead and take the 7-2 win. The second inning would see three runs scored on four hits, with the big blow coming when JC Cardenas would drive in Michael Diaz, who had advanced to third on a balk, Luis Arrizurieta would later plate Cardenas.
Barry would add two more runs in the top of the fourth, before Shorter would end the shut out bid. Willie Lewis would reach on a one out double, and then steal third to set up a two out at bat for Jesse Gavigan. Gavigan would use his speed to put pressure on the Buccaneer second baseman Adrian English and make him rush the play that resulted in a fielding error and allowing Lewis to score the first Hawks run.
The final two innings would go by scoreless for both teams. Lewis was joined by Cal Hardie as the only Hawks with two hits; Shorter would have six for the game with five coming off the winning starter Kevin Youst. Russell Crosby would start for the Hawks and last four innings before four relievers would finish the game on the mound.
The second game was drastically different than the first. The Buccaneers were able to score late against a strong outing from Cameron Rich to win 1-0 in seven innings.
Each starting pitcher went the entire way, with Rich giving up only three hits and the one run while striking out six. Calvin Rayburn held the Hawks to four hits while striking out eight to earn the victory.
The Hawks had a chance in the second inning with bases loaded and only one out, but Rayburn would force a double play to end the threat. Rayburn would go on to retire 10 of the next 12 batters.
Shorter had one more scoring opportunity pass by in the sixth with runners on second and third and no outs. The Hawks would run into some hard luck with a ground ball back to the pitcher, and strike out, and the inning would end with a ground out to third.
The only run would score in the top of the seventh when Sheehan Planas-Arteaga would single to start the inning and would find his way to third after an English double, Tyler Kellman would drive a long fly ball to center field to score the only run needed for the win.
The Hawks would be set down in order to the end the game in the bottom of the seventh.