Saints advance at regionals
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 18, 2010
The Lurleen B. Wallace Community College Saints stayed in the winner’s bracket Sunday at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Southeast Regional tournament in Martinsville, Va. with a 9-6 victory over Brunswick.
In the eighth inning, the Saints scored six runs to take an 8-6 lead and seal the win.
“Nothing went right for us early,” Saints head coach Steve Helms said. “We put the ball in play and got some breaks and came through with nice bunts and big hits (in the eighth inning).
“Then of course, Josh (Dozier) closed it out in the ninth,” he said. “He struck the last two out. It was a very exciting game, and I’m happy to get a win.”
Dozier earned the win scattering seven hits and striking out five batters in 3.2 innings.
Brunswick drew first blood in the bottom of the third inning, when second baseman Ryne Poplin scored when Jay Cannon reached on an error.
The Dolphins added two runs in the fifth inning when Cannon hit a two-run home run over the center field fence.
The Saints allowed two runs on three hits, and left one runner on base in the fifth.
From that point on, Dozier took control from the mound.
In the seventh, the Saints got on board, cutting into the Dolphins’ lead.
With one out, Chezz McCann reached on an error by the third baseman, and Taylor Culbreth then doubled to left field, allowing McCann to advance to third.
McCann later scored on another error by the third baseman.
Culbreth advanced to third base on a single by Jacob Bacon, and later scored on an error by the pitcher.
The Dolphins answered back in the bottom of the seventh, scoring three runs on five hits and one error with three men left on base.
The Saints took advantage of the Dolphins’ two errors in the top of the eighth to score their six runs.
Shane Turner had one RBI; Chad Helms had one RBI; Culbreth had one RBI; Bacon had one RBI; and Cory Reed had two RBIs for the Saints in the eighth.
The Saints sealed the deal in the top of the ninth when Waltman hit a solo home run down the left field line.
McCann was 2-for-3 with two runs; Culbreth was 1-for-3 with two runs and one RBI; Waltman was 2-for-5 with two runs and one RBI; Reed was 1-for-5 with two RBIs; Turner was 0-for-4 with one run and one RBI; Helms was 1-for-5 with one run and one RBI; and Bacon was 2-for-4 with one RBI.
The Saints were originally scheduled to play Lenoir on Monday, but the game was postponed until today due to weather. The game will start at 10:30 a.m. EST.
“We’re going to have to again play at a high level against Lenoir,” Helms said. “I think the kids are ready for the game.”
Helms said T.J. Fleming had the opportunity to hand the Saints’ line up card to the umpires at home plate Sunday before the game started.
“It was a privilege for us to have him to do that,” he said. “He is our inspiration, and we’re going to do everything we can to win this hing for T.J.”