DeLand, Fla. - Stetson broke out the bats and delivered 16 hits in Saturday's 10-2 win over Atlantic Sun Conference foe Kennesaw State at Melching Field. It was the second highest hit total of the season (18 vs. ETSU on March 25th) for the first-place Hatters who improved to 24-7 overall and 12-3 in league play. With the loss KSU fell to 8-5 in the A-Sun (19-14 overall) and out of second place in the standings.
Four Hatters exploded for three hits each led by catcher Nick Rickles (Loxahatchee, Fla.). Rickles was 3-for-5 with a double, a bunt single, two RBI and a run scored. In the process he extended his current hitting streak to 11 games.
Mark Jones (Bunnell, Fla.) and Spencer Theisen (Longwood, Fla.) also had three hits and extended hitting streaks. Jones, who has hit successfully in 12 straight games, was 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Theisen was 3-for-4 with two RBI and has hit safely in 10 consecutive games.
Robert Crews (Port Charlotte, Fla.) was the fourth Hatter to deliver three hits. He finished 3-for-5 with an RBI and a game-high three runs scored.
Stetson scored in each of the first four innings including a three-run 3rd in which Theisen and Ryan Lashley (Lake Worth, Fla.) knocked in a run apiece. A pair of runs in the 4th came courtesy of an RBI single by Ben Carhart (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and an RBI double down the left field line by Rickles.
Starting pitcher Tucker Donahue (Coral Springs, Fla.) did not give up a base hit or a run until the 4th inning when he allowed three and two respectively. He finished with five strike outs yet could not complete five innings and thus did not qualify for the win. Joe Dye (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.), Cameron Griffin (Naples, Fla.), Will Dorsey (Atlantic Beach, Fla.) and Justin Pickens (Sanford, Fla.) combined to finish the game on the mound. Although all were very effective in relief and none allowed a run, Dorsey was credited with the victory after tossing two innings and striking out three batters.
Kennesaw State's Bryan Blough (Newnan, Ga.) pitched six innings for the visitors striking out six and walking just one. He allowed seven runs, four of which were earned, and took the loss falling to 1-3 on the season.
Jeff Simpson (Valrico, Fla.) who was 2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI gave the Hatter fans a thrill in the 8th inning with a leadoff blast deep to right field that looked like it might be his first career home run. It ended up hitting off the wall and turned into his first triple of the season.
The Hatters and Owls will return to Melching Field Sunday at 1:00 p.m. for the series finale. Stetson fans can see the game on Hatter Vision at GoHatters.com with Bill Topping calling the action. Tickets for home games are available at the gate or can be purchased online at GoHatters.com or by calling 738-HATS.