The 23-6 Howard College Hawks split wins in a doubleheader with the Clarendon College Bulldogs Saturday at Jack Barber Field to conclude a four game series. Howard College lost the first game 5-4, and rallied to take game two 9-8.
Clayton Crum started strong on the mound for the Hawks in game one, and Paul Hendrix homered in the bottom of the fifth inning bringing HC within one run.
Brendon McCurry picked up a RBI in the bottom of the sixth, scoring Reed Seeley who reached base on a walk, making it a 5-3 game.
It looked like HC was going to rally in the bottom of the seventh when Colt Bickerstaff led off the inning with a double. Elliot Richoux hit a line drive single, and with runners on the corners and only one out, Jordan Allen reached base, scoring Bickerstaff and cutting the Bulldogs' lead to one run yet again.
Comeback hopes were then dashed when two consecutive Hawk strikeouts ended the inning as well as the game.
Stranded baserunners — 13 of them — came back to haunt the Hawks as they couldn't produce the offense needed to overcome a one-run deficit.
Britt Smith, head coach for HC, acknowledged the lack of timely hits which could have made the difference.
“We didn't cash in on our opportunities and it cost us the game,” he said. “Each one of those runners we left on base was big.”
Game No. 2 didn't seem to be shaping up much better for the Hawks as they trailed Clarendon 6-1 early on, but this time, HC would stage a successful rally, defeating the Bulldogs 9-8, giving them three-out-of-four games in the series.
Smith was glad to end the series on a high note, but remains focused on the last five weeks of conference play.
“We have got to continue to play well,” Smith said.
The Hawks next challenge will come when they face Midland College on Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Jack Barber Field.