|Stetson Powers Past Wildcats 7-1|
Daytona Beach, Fla. – For Stetson freshman Josh Powers, Tuesday night seemed like old home night at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
The New Smyrna Beach native made his collegiate debut Tuesday night on familiar turf and turned in five shutout innings against Bethune-Cookman in a 7-1 Hatters victory.
Powers (1-0) needed just 61 pitches to get through five innings, allowing just three singles and no walks while striking out five.
“That had to have been a thrill for him,” Stetson coach Pete Dunn said. “I know it was a thrill for us to see him go out there and pitch that way. It was great for him to be able to come over to the east side of the county and pitch in a place where he had success at the high school level. He had a lot of New Smyrna fans and family here and, to go out and pitch the well was good.”
Powers got into a comfort zone very quickly, striking out the first batter he faced as a collegiate hurler. But, he came right back to hit the next batter before getting a pair of quick fly balls to end the opening inning.
“I was a little nervous out there to start, but it was nice to be at home in front of friends and family,” Powers said. “My curveball got away from me a little bit to the second hitter, but I was able to rebound and settle down.”
The Hatters gave Powers a lead before he ever took the mound, scoring a run in the first on consecutive two-out singles by Sam Kimmel, Ben Carhart and Ryan Lashley off B-CU starter Scott Garner (0-1).
Stetson pushed the lead to 5-0 with a four-run fourth. Trey Blackman and Mitchel Brennan opened the inning with singles and advanced on a sacrifice attempt by Kyle Zech when Wildcats catcher Carlos Delgado threw the ball down the left-field line, allowing Blackman to score and Brennan to reach third.
A wild pitch plated a run, followed by a ground out to score the third. The inning picked up steam with two outs and Kimmel and Carhart delivered back-to-back doubles.
The 5-0 lead was enough to Powers and the Stetson bull pen.
“We thought going in that we would only use Powers for four innings and then turn the game over to the bull pen,” Dunn said. “He was so good through four that we let him go back out there. He started the fifth a little wild and I thought we would have to go get him, but he settled down and got out of the inning.”
That fifth inning was the only real scoring threat for Bethune-Cookman until the ninth. The Wildcats opened the frame with consecutive singles and then moved both runners up on a wild pitch. Powers got out of the inning by getting a strikeout, a ground ball to Carhart at third, who cut down the lead runner trying to score, and then a pop up to second.
The bull pen did the rest with Tucker Donahue, Joe Dye and Cameron Griffin working three scoreless innings before turning the ball over to Jake Boyd in the ninth.
Before Boyd took the mound, Stetson got a pair of runs in the top of the ninth on an RBI single by Carhart and a misplay in centerfield that allowed by Crews and Kimmel to score.
The Wildcats managed three singles off Boyd to score their only run of the game in the final inning.
Stetson had 11 hits in the game, led by Kimmel and Carhart with three each. Kimmel reached base all five times he came up (two doubles, a single and two walks) and scored three runs.
The Hatters will return to action on Friday night when they open play in the Brighthouse Invitational Tournament at Melching Field. Play will start at 1 p.m. on Friday when Southern Illinois and Georgia State square off. The Hatters will face Penn at 7 p.m. in the night cap.