Pike baseball sweeps double header with Fort Dale

Published 9:03 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Pike Liberal Arts baseball used stout pitching to sweep its double header against Fort Dale, defeating the Eagles 2-1 and 12-5 Monday night in Troy.

In the first game of the night, the Patriots needed a two-run bottom of the fifth to rally past a Fort Dale 1-0 lead for the win.

In a pitchers’ duel, Pike’s Rush Hixon squared off with Fort Dale’s Ryan Burkett, and the two pitchers combined for 25 strikeouts in the game.

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The Eagles got out to a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, when Drake Cabe scored Austin Vickery on a sacrifice fly.

After the run, Hixon settled down, striking out the next two batters to end the top of the first.

After the two teams exchanged fruitless second, third and fourth innings, Pike took its only lead of the game in the bottom of the fifth when Tucker Johnson hit an RBI single to score Tyler Hussey. And on the next at-bat, Hussey scored on a wild pitch to give the Patriots the 2-1 lead.

In the nightcap, Pike used an eight-run sixth inning to top Fort Dale 12-5.

With Pike leading 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth, the Eagles walked six-straight Patriot batters, and nine total batters in the inning, to give the Patriots a commanding 12-4 lead.

And in the top of the seventh inning, starting pitcher Drew Starling slammed the door shut on Fort Dale to give Pike the sweep of the double header.

“I thought we did a great job in the first game,” Pike head coach Allen Ponder said. “We were down 1-0 early, and we made some mistakes to get down. When you face a pitcher like Burkett on the mound, it makes it very difficult…I was very proud of the way that we kept the score 1-0 the entire game, and we battled and got the job done.”