Lions handle Lemoyne-Owen

North Alabama baseball players congratulate after a 19-1 win over Lemoyne-Owen Feb. 15 at Mike Lane Field. With the win over the Magicians, the Lions improve to 4-3 headed in to conference play at West Georgia Feb. 18-19.

by Baseball Beat Writer Nick Griffin

The North Alabama baseball team hosted LeMoyne-Owen College Feb. 15 and put together a dominant 19-1 victory at Mike Lane Field.

The Lions improve to 4-3 overall headed into their Gulf South Conference opening series at West Georgia (4-2) Feb. 18-19.

UNA head coach Mike Keehn said he thought the team looked improved on defense and was pleased he was able to rotate fresh faces as the Lions’ lead grew larger.

“What I thought was most important was that we got everybody in the game,” he said. “As hard as these guys work, unfortunately baseball doesn’t allow for a lot of substitutions cause once you’re out of the game, you’re out of the game.”

Several freshmen got their first opportunity to play college ball during the win, including pitcher Bryant Claunch who got the win in his first career collegiate start for UNA after pitching five innings and giving up zero runs on just two hits.

“We had three freshmen that got in and Bryant got his first win, Brett Baker got his first hit and Tate Mathis got his first hit so it was nice to see everybody contribute today,” Keehn said.

 “It felt good, it was really exciting,” Claunch said. “That’s always nice, that’s the best when you know you’ve got a comfortable lead, have some runs to work with, you’re not stressed out and you’re good to go.”

At the plate, sophomore shortstop Peyton Sockwell led the way for the Lions going 2-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs.

After traveling to West Georgia, UNA heads to Auburn-Montgomery Feb. 22 before returning home to face Shorter in a three-game series Feb. 25-26.