It was a Sunday afternoon for the ages at Richard Gray Stadium. The USCB Sand Sharks erupted for an incredible 35 runs in a pair of seven-inning games, shattering the program’s single-game scoring mark in the process, as USCB delivered a total domination of Mid-Atlantic Christian, clobbering the Mustangs 9-2 and 26-0.
Starting pitcher Payton MacPherson went the distance and struck out a remarkable 12 batters in the opener, and Donovan Huneck followed him up with a one-hit shutout gem. Kyran Russ smacked a grand slam for a record-tying seven RBI in the capper.
The tone was set in the first USCB at-bat of the day, as Clint Sellers blasted a home run to left field to match MACU’s one-run first. Then a Brian Meyer double set up a Tavaris Tarrell RBI knock to take a 2-1 lead.
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The Mustangs knotted the contest at 2 after a throwing error in the fourth, but USCB answered back with a pair in the bottom half to go up 4-2. The Sand Sharks sent eight to the plate in the fifth inning, scoring four runs in the frame as Sellers drove in a pair for his fourth hit of the ballgame. After the home team tacked on one more run in the sixth, MacPherson polished off a masterful 12-strikeout performance in the seventh as USCB picked up the 9-2 win.
MacPherson excelled on the bump, tossing all seven innings without allowing a single walk or earned run. Sellers was moved to the leadoff spot for the opening contest and rose to the occasion, going 4-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs. Terrell went 2-for-4 with a double while driving in a pair, and Hagan Alberson added a solo homer.
But the Sand Sharks were just getting started.
It was all USCB from start to finish in game two, as Ted Falkner’s squad put on a clinic on the mound and at the plate. The monster performance blossomed from a two-out MACU error, sending three across in the bottom of the first.
The Sand Sharks took the momentum and ran with it, scoring five more in the second inning with RBIs from Leandy Castro, Terrell, Alberson, and Meyer to take an 8-0 lead. The onslaught continued in the third as USCB doubled its massive advantage, smacking five extra-base hits in the frame as Castro, Russ, Terrell, and Alberson delivered a string of four straight RBI-knocks.
After Russ crushed a double earlier in the frame, the senior came back around and did it again, sending a two-bagger into left field to take a commanding 16-0 lead. USCB plated five more in the fourth before Russ added the punctuation on a day to remember, rocketing a grand slam over the wall in the fifth to make it 26-0 as the Sand Sharks broke the school record for most runs in a game, besting the previous mark of 23 set against Florida Memorial on February 18, 2017.
Russ also sent his own name into the record books, matching a program record with seven RBIs in a game and becoming the first to hit the mark since Bobby Wenthe in 2017.
While the Sand Sharks were lighting up the scoreboard on offense, game two starter Huneck was mowing down the Mustangs, holding MACU without a hit for five innings before the no-no was broken up with two outs in the sixth. The senior kept the spectacular outing rolling to the finish line, picking up a complete-game shutout in a 26-0 annihilation.
Huneck dazzled on the mound, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out nine. Russ was sensational at the plate, smacking three extra-base hits including a grand slam to rack up a record-tying seven RBI. Castro went a perfect 3-for-3 with a triple, and Tim Wood shined with a 3-for-4 contest.
USCB (11-8, 2-4) will look to stay red-hot when the Sand Sharks welcome Columbia International at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
By Wes Kerr