Baseball Drops Season Opener at Piedmont

Demorest, GA (3/6/09) The Piedmont College baseball team used a six-run first inning to defeat visiting Montclair State University this evening at Loudermilk Field by the score of 8-3. In a game that featured 32 combined strikeouts junior Spencer Shelton broke a Lions NCAA Division-III era single game record with 13 strikeouts in just six innings of work.

The Lions improve to 7-5 overall and will take on Montclair State again tomorrow, March 7th beginning at 3:00. That will be the back-end of a double header for MSU, which will face Mount Aloysius College (PA) at 11:00 am.

After a scoreless top of the first PC erupted for six runs on four hits to take an early advantage. Corey Lindsey singled on the first pitch of the inning and was followed by three walks. With the bases still loaded John Duke posted a two-RBI single and Justin Vorherr followed with a two-RBI triple. Zac Stein capped the inning with an RBI-single plating Vorherr.

The Red Hawks posted single runs in the second and fifth to cut the lead to four. Montclair would get on the board in the second as senior Ed Kloepping (Pennsville, NJ / Pennsville) led off with a double and scored as Jason Lopez (West New York, NJ / Memorial) smacked an RBI single. In the fifth inning, Lopez singled to open the inning and moved to second on a wild pitch. Jay Bionde (Pompton Plains, NJ / Pequannock) singled to put runners at the corners before Matt Hartwick (Ringwood, NJ / Lakeland Regional) doubled to score a run. Hartwick was making his first appearance for MSU after missing the entire 2008 season with an injury.

The Lions added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth as Lindsey doubled in Brandon Hitch and later scored on a wild pitch. The visitors would score a single run in the ninth but get no closer and drop the five-run decision.

Shelton's 13 strikeouts break the previous mark of 12 set by two different players. Freshman Caleb Cochran picked up his first collegiate save going three innings allowing one run on five strikeouts. Three players posted a pair of hits led by Lindsey's 2-5 with two runs scored. 

Both teams notched eight hits apiece while the Lions posted their first error free game of the season. In the loss Red Hawks starter Michael Vitale (Bayonne, NJ / Bayonne) struck out an impressive nine hitters in five innings of work.