Press Release from Harding Sports
Harding baseball scored 20 runs on 20 hits, and seven Bison pitchers allowed only two earned runs Monday in a doubleheader sweep of NAIA opponent Williams Baptist at Jerry Moore Field. Harding won by scores of 10-1 and 13-3 to push its winning streak to nine games, its longest since a nine-game streak in 2011.
Harding (9-3) returns to action this weekend against Southern Arkansas in Magnolia. The Bisons were one of four teams to sweep their season-opening conference series, winning all three against Arkansas-Monticello.
Connor Kelly and Luke Van Dover led Harding's 11-hit attack in game one. Kelly, went 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI. It was his second three-hit game of the season. Van Dover was 2-for-3 with his team-leading seventh double and a two-run home run in the second.
Harding scored in every inning except the third and had five extra-base hits.
Junior Ty Hoecker (1-0) pitched four scoreless innings to earn the win. He struck out two. Nick Bowers and Zach Bilek pitched scoreless innings of relief, and Matt Sherry closed out the game.
Brady Smith and Jacob Watson led Williams Baptist with two hits each. Eagle starter Heath Taylor (1-1) suffered the loss, allowing four earned runs in 3 1/3 innings.
Harding overcame a 3-0 deficit by scoring 13 unanswered runs on nine hits and seven walks.
Nolan Fertig was 2-for-3 with three runs and four RBIs. In the fourth, Fertig drove a ball to the wall in right center and raced around for an inside-the-park home run.
Kelly and Miles Humphreys drove in two runs each, and Brendan Perrett scored three times.
Freshman Kaden Kirby (2-1) struck out six over four innings and allowed only one earned run to collect the win. William St. Leger and Dylan Adcock combined to pitch three scoreless innings of relief. Adcock struck out four and did not allow a hit.
Eagle starting pitcher David Sawyer (0-1) got the loss, allowing four earned runs in one inning of work.
Williams Baptist (4-6) had only three hits in game two and none after the second inning.