Lions completes sweep of non-confernce opponent

By Staff Writer Kadin Pounders

The baseball team (6-1) swept the LeMoyne-Owen College Magicians (0-9) Feb. 11 in a doubleheader at Mike Lane Field by the scores of 23-2 and 8-1.

The Lions mercy ruled the Magicians in the first of the two afternoon games. LeMoyne-Owen’s pitching struggled as the Lions scored in every inning including six runs in the first inning and five runs in the fourth.

Every batter in the starting lineup recorded at least one hit and scored a run for the Lions.

The Lions had Kyle Stephenson on the mound to start and the senior pitched a gem. Stephenson only walked one batter, struck out six, allowed only three hits, and gave up no runs facing 19 batters in five innings pitched.

Sophomore Bradley Bailey took over for Stephenson in the sixth inning to finish the Magicians off.

As hot as UNA’s bats were in the first game, they were just as cold in the second game, head coach Mike Keehn said.

“Their guy basically just threw strikes, attacked the zone and basically went right at us,” he said. “We just didn’t have good at bats.”

Going into the bottom of the third, LeMoyne-Owen led 1-0 but Magician’s pitcher Robert Sheard walked four straight batters to tie the game up.

Sheard was also tossing a no-hitter until shortstop Kyle Crabtree laced a single up the middle to start the fourth.

“I thought Crabtree stepped up and played well today,” Keehn said.

Crabtree came back around later in the inning to give the Lions a 2-1 lead that they never surrendered.

UNA’s Shawn Smirnoff, Todd Gibson, and Austin Carpenter held the Magicians to just one run.

Finally in the sixth inning, UNA’s bats came alive and knocked in five runs to take a commanding 7-1 lead. The Lions defense captured the last three outs in the top of the seventh to end the game.

UNA shortstop Brett Guzay and centerfielder Brandon Pugh collided in the outfield late in the first game. Pugh was unharmed but Guzay left the game with a facial injury. Keehn said Guzay was taken to have x-rays but did not know the results of the tests yet.

The Lions takes on Gulf South Conference foe the University of West Florida in a doubleheader Feb. 14 starting at 1:00 PM in Pensacola, Florida.