Junior Robert Cross and senior Hank Biggs dazzled on the mound for the University of Mary Washington baseball team as they blanked Methodist University, 8-0, in the season opener on Tuesday afternoon in Fayetteville, NC. Cross pitched six innings, allowing just two hits, and struck out three batters. Biggs closed the last three innings by giving up just two hits and striking out four. The Eagles begin the season 1-0.
UMW got on the board early in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Marcel Barrett got the rally started as he singled down the right field line, Norman Holcomb then singled to right field, and Stephen Johnston loaded the bases with a single. Garrett Lyons came up to bat and worked a walk to score Barrett and take a 1-0 lead. Christian Hague then grounded out to shortstop, but scored Holcomb to help UMW go up 2-0.
The Eagles kept it going in the second inning as Nick Bass led off the inning with a walk and a single from Kevin France put Bass on third. After Tyler Ray was hit by a pitch, Barrett singled home Bass to extend the lead to 3-0.
UMW managed three walks, and one hit over the next four innings but couldn't get a run across the plate. Cross ran into a little trouble in the fifth inning as he allowed the first hit of the game for Methodist and that runner advanced to second, but Cross got a groundout to end the inning. In the sixth, a runner got to second after a base hit but again Cross stranded him as he managed to get a fly out and a line out.
In the seventh inning, Ray led off the inning with a double and then Barrett reached first as the next batter. Holcomb singled up the middle to score Ray and then Johnston came up to single through the right side to score Barrett and give UMW a 5-0 lead.
Biggs took the mound in the seventh inning and ran into a little bit of trouble as he loaded the bases, but calmly struck out the last batter of the inning looking to keep the Monarchs scoreless.
UMW added some insurance runs in the eighth inning as Johnston and Lyons both delivered a two-out base hit to extend their lead to 8-0. Bass began the inning by reaching on an error, Ray then singled, and Holcomb added a single to load the bases. Johnston then knocked home Bass and Ray on a single up the middle and Lyons singled to right field to bring home Holcomb.
Biggs closed out the game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning and the Eagles took the game 8-0.
UMW will be back in action on Saturday as they will host SUNY Oneonta in a doubleheader with the first game beginning at 12 p.m.