Contact: C. Scott Shasteen
Feb. 7, 2017
Three Motlow State pitchers combined to allow only one hit and one run as the Bucks opened the 2017 baseball season with a 2-1 win over Wallace State-Hanceville Friday afternoon in Hanceville, Alabama.
The Bucks (1-3, 0-0) couldn't match that performance the rest of the weekend, dropping the second game of the doubleheader with Wallace 10-0, then dropping a pair of games to Lawson State 8-3, 6-5 Saturday afternoon in Birmingham.
Motlow will open the home baseball schedule on Friday when Marshalltown, Iowa visits for a noon doubleheader. The same two teams are scheduled to play another twin bill at the same time on Saturday. All home baseball games are played at the Driver Baseball Complex on Motlow's Moore County campus, and there is no admission charge.
The season opener was a thing of beauty for Motlow fans as freshman Bryan Rosario (1-0) tossed five innings of one-hit ball, striking out four and walking two, to get the first win of his career. Gavin Bedsole got two outs in the sixth before giving way to Camron Harper, who got the final four outs for his first save by allowing no hits and only one walk.
The game was scoreless until the fifth inning, when the Bucks plated both their runs. C.J. Brown drove in Luke Allison, who had two hits on the day, with an RBI double, followed by a single from Colin Guscoff that drove in Brown. Motlow had seven hits, two each by Allison and D'Marcus Guillory, who also added a stolen base.
Game two was not quite as memorable for the Bucks as the home team allowed Motlow only one hit, a single by Zach Ehrhart, in a 10-0 victory. Tyler Zak got the start for the Bucks, lasting 1.2 innings and allowing six runs on nine hits. Matt Westberry allowed four runs in 1.1 innings, followed by Alex Valcarcel who pitched an inning without allowing a hit.
Saturday in Birmingham, Motlow's defense let down in the opener, committing four errors in an 8-3 loss. The Bucks scattered eight hits, with Ryan Hartigan driving in both Motlow runs. Jake Fossick (0-1) took the loss, allowing two earned runs and four walks in 2.1 innings. Harper was a victim of poor defense in his 2.2 innings pitched, as none of his four runs allowed were earned, although he did give up six hits. Valcarcel again pitched the final inning without allowing a hit.
In game two, the Bucks jumped out in front with three runs in the third inning and two more in the fourth to lead 5-0. Ehrhart, Guscoff and Brown each hit doubles, while Jacob Freeland and Brown each drove in two runs, with Freeland slamming the first home run of the season for the Bucks. JD Robertson had two hits for Motlow and drove in a run.
Lawson State scored five in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the score, with four of the runs being charged to starter Chandler Hardiman, who left with one out in the fourth inning. Bedsole (0-1) came on in relief and took the loss despite pitching pretty well, allowing only two hits and one earned run in 2.2 innings. Lawson State scored the winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning.