New USCB baseball coach Ted Falkner knew that strong pitching would be the key to success in year one. But he probably never imagined anything like the line his pitching staff put together Tuesday.
Six Sand Sharks combined for a no-hitter and 13 strikeouts Tuesday, as USCB took down Columbia International on the road in a bonkers 11-7 game.
In one of the craziest contests in program history, the two teams combined for 18 runs, 22 walks, 11 errors, and 14 hits, all of the latter from the Sand Sharks, who moved above .500 despite issuing 15 walks.
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USCB opened the game with a two-run first, cashing in on an error to score Wesley Ambrose before Clint Sellers ripped a double to plate another. The Rams responded with two runs in the first and another in the second to grab the lead.
But the Sand Sharks stormed right back, blasting a pair of dingers in the third to score three runs. Brian Meyer led things off with a solo shot, and Hagan Alberson clobbered a two-run homer with two outs to put USCB up 5-3. The visitors extended their lead in the fifth, as a Jack Slavin ground ball was mishandled by the Ram defense with the bases loaded, allowing two runs to score.
CIU got one back on a sacrifice fly to cut it to 7-4, but the Sand Sharks doubled the lead in the seventh. Three straight two-baggers from Leandy Castro, Alexander Humphrey, and Sellers started the frame before an Alberson single and Slavin sac fly gave Falkner’s squad a commanding 10-4 lead.
USCB would tack on one more in the eighth, but the Rams answered with three in the home half to make it a four-run game. Eamonn Collins didn’t let it get any closer, as the senior righty recorded the final four outs to earn his second save of the year and finish off a wild 11-7 no-hit win.
Andre Sasseville, Jacob Judy, Ryan Reynolds, DJ Lawler, Javier Saenz, and Collins combined for the six-man no-no on 204 pitches. Judy picked up the win, tossing three innings and racking up five strikeouts.
Castro led the Sand Shark offense, going 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. Sellers went an efficient 2-for-2 with two doubles while picking up a pair of RBIs and walks.
The game was scheduled to be played in Hardeeville, but rain showers relocated the contest to Columbia.
USCB (4-3) opens up Sun Conference play Friday at Florida Memorial.
Written by Wes Kerr