Bader, Strickland Blank Flagler In PBC DH Sweep
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - The No. 7-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State University baseball squad got complete-game shutout performances from sophomore Ethan Bader and senior Scott Strickland in a Peach Belt Conference doubleheader sweep of host Flagler College on Saturday afternoon at Drysdale Field in St. Augustine. The Pirates won game one, 3-0, and took game two, 2-0, to complete a PBC sweep of the Saints.
The wins stretch Armstrong's current win streak to 10 games as the Pirates are now 31-9 overall and 16-8 in the Peach Belt. It is the best record for Armstrong in PBC baseball play since 2003, when the Pirates finished 20-10 and captured the league's regular season title. Flagler falls to 23-19 overall and 10-14 in the PBC.
With winds blowing in from center field and gusting to 30 mph, offense was at a premium for both teams on the afternoon. Strickland and Flagler's Jack Charleston threw up zeroes through the first three innings, then the Pirates broke through in the fourth inning on senior Drew Walker's two-RBI double down the right field line that put Armstrong up, 2-0.
The Pirates added an insurance run in the top of the ninth on when Clayton Miller scored from third on an errant throw by second baseman Will Percy.
Strickland kept the Saints off balance with his first shutout of the season, giving up just five singles and one walk while striking out two in improving to 7-1 on the season. He threw 110 pitches, 71 for strikes, in collecting his second career shutout as a Pirate. Charleston (1-6) took the loss for the Saints, giving up just five hits and two runs in five innings of work, walking two while striking out three.
In game two, Bader was even better as he limited the Saints to just four hits and one walk, striking out 11 in picking up his Peach Belt-leading ninth win of the season. He threw 115 pitches, 82 for strikes, and ran into his only trouble in the fifth inning when Charlie Stewart doubled to lead off the inning and Nate Fudala singled to put runners at the corners. Bader retired Cade Smith on a flyout, then struck out Devon Hellett and Kyle Foti back-to-back to end the threat.
Armstrong's first run of the game came in the third inning on a sacrifice fly by junior Casey Maloney. The Pirates' second run came in the fifth as Walker scored on a double play ball from third.
Jonathan Armold (5-5) took the loss in game two for the Saints, giving up three hits and two runs in 7 2/3 innings of work, walking four while striking out nine.
Clayton Miller led the Pirates offensively, going 3-for-5 with three walks, while John Roberts also had three hits in the doubleheader. Walker collected two hits and two RBIs.
Nate Fudala led the Saints by going 2-for-4 in each game of the doubleheader.
Armstrong returns to action on Tuesday, April 17, hosting Augusta State in a non-conference contest at Pirate Field at 3:30 p.m.