Wallace State's baseball team has found its offensive groove. The Lions opened Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) action Thursday night at home, pounding out 11 hits and posting double-digit runs for the third game in a row, rolling to a 10-4 win over Marion Military Institute.
Conner McCain clubbed his first homer of the year, a two-run shot, and finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs, three runs scored and two stolen bases. Dustin Hood went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, three runs scored and a stolen base and Davis Blair contributed a three-run double.
Wallace State (11-7, 1-0 ACCC) has scored 37 runs combined in its last three games after averaging 2.9 runs during the first 15 games.
"We've changed our hitting philosophy. We are going to start putting people in motion more often. Instead of hitting and running, we are now running and hitting. When it works, it's good. When it doesn't, you hit a line drive to someone and get doubled off. That's the chance you take," said Wallace State coach Randy Putman. "I felt we had to do something to get our bats going. It's kind of like the spread offense in football. You put players in motion and let them go."
Marion Military grabbed an early 3-0 lead in the first inning on a three-run homer by Brandon Thomasson. Wallace State answered with two runs in the first, five in the third and three more in the fourth. Blair turned a one-run game into a 7-3 advantage with his three-run double in the third, and McCain added more insurance with his two-run blast in the fourth.
Cade Medley (4-1) went eight strong innings on the mound, striking out three, walking four and yielding only one hit after the second inning. "Cade didn't have his best stuff, but he found a way to shut them down the rest of the way. Marion came in hitting over .300 as a team. They swing the bats well," Putman said. "You've got to have quality arms to beat them."
At the plate, Chazz Otwell had a pair of hits, including a double for the Lions, Brad Clay had two RBIs and two runs scored and Jud Sherrill contributed two RBIs.
Marion Military's Hunter Stevens was the losing pitcher, allowing 10 runs---seven earned---in six innings.
Wallace State resumes the three-game weekend set Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. The teams are scheduled to play a nine and a seven-inning game respectively.
"Once you get into conference play, every team is working to get into the tournament. We've got to take care of business," Putman said.