|Friday Woes Continue For Hatters in Loss to Owls|
Kennesaw, Ga. – The Stetson Hatters came very close to a great start in their series opener against Kennesaw State on Friday night, but then things unraveled very quickly.
After scoring an early run in the first, the Hatters had a runner miss the plate for what would have been a second run and then watched as the homestanding Owls dinked and dumped their way to a five-run second inning before going on to take a 17-2 victory over Stetson.
The loss drops Stetson to 22-11 overall and 5-5 in Atlantic Sun Conference play. Kennesaw State improves to 21-15 overall and 9-4 in league play. With a loss by league-leading Belmont to Mercer, the Owls have moved to within a game of the A-Sun lead.
For the Hatters, the game was started by sophomore left-hander Austin Perez (1-3) whose last start against South Florida produced six strong innings while allowing one hit. Perez did not have such luck in his first A-Sun start.
The Owls put together seven hits, all singles, off Perez, scoring five runs before the Hatters went to the bull pen in the second inning. Perez managed to get just four outs before being lifted.
After Perez left the game, the Owls continue to swing the bats well. Before the game was over, Kennesaw had 17 runs on 22 hits.
Owls senior Josh Carr (8-1) was the beneficiary of all the offense. After a rocky start, Carr worked 6.1 innings for Kennesaw State, allowing just two runs on six hits with five walks and six strikeouts.
Stetson turned to freshman Drew Jackson first, and then junior Chad Rood, to try to keep the Owls at bay and save the rest of the Hatters’ bull pen for the rest of the series. Jackson allowed two runs on four hits over 1.2 innings of work. Rood finished the game for the Hatters, allowing 10 runs on 11 hits over five innings.
The Owls used the long ball late in the game, getting a pair of two-run homers from Chris McGowan to go along with a three-run shot from Andy Almonte. Jacob Bruce added a two-run triple for the Owls in the eighth inning.
The lone bright spot for the Hatters was Ben Carhart, who had a pair of hits in the game to extend his career-best hit streak to 10 games.
Like they have done the last two weeks, the Hatters will try to come back in the series on Saturday behind senior right-hander Lindsey Caughel. He will be opposed by Kennesaw State’s senior left-hander Zak Griffith. The game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. first pitch.