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Vincent Kortbawi moved his school-record hitting streak up to 29 games as the University of Alabama in Huntsville baseball team steamrolled Kentucky State in Sunday's doubleheader, 7-0 and 21-3 at Charger Park.
Game 1: UAH-7 KSU-0
After taking a split in the first doubleheader, the Chargers returned to the field on Sunday and shut out the Thorobreds by a score of 7-0. Pitching willed the chargers to the easy victory as Drew Eiland (1-0) threw five strong innings while Logan Crook and Cody Barrett shut the door over the last two.
Eiland had an impressive line in those five scoreless innings as he gave up three hits and a walk while fanning five Thorobreds. Crook and Barrett both threw perfect innings of baseball with Crook striking out two and Barrett one. Perhaps the most impressive number of the afternoon was one, the number of runners who reached second base for Kentucky State in game one.
The pitchers had help, of course, from the very first inning. After a pretty routine top half of the first, UAH came in to bat and sent two runners across home plate. Getting the offense going was Cody Burton with a one-out double. After a passed ball moved him to third, Chandler Brock sent a fly ball into right field that was deep enough to allow Burton to tag up and score. Two singles and a walk later, Chase Handley came to bat and drew an RBI-walk to stretch the lead to two.
UAH plated two more in the next frame. A bunt by Blake Massey to lead off the innings, coupled with a bad throw by the pitcher who tried to field it, put him on third base. Justin Pearson then stepped up and knocked a sac fly to center field on which Massey scored. The very next batter, Burton, reached on an error and then went to second on a throw. He scored on a Brock single just a few pitches later.
The Chargers scored two of their remaining three runs in the bottom of the fourth due in large part to poor pitching by Kentucky State as Burton scored on a wild pitch, and Brock, who reached base via walk, scored on a sac fly by Jud Sherrill. The last run was scored by Justin Riddle in the bottom of the sixth off a single by Handley.
Kentucky State batters were sat down in order four of the seven innings they were at bat.
Game 2: UAH-21 KSU-3
The offense was on display for UAH in game two, as they exploded for six runs in the first and would never look back. Scoring nine runs in the third inning allowed the Chargers to sprint out to an insurmountable 15-1 lead over KSU.
A Kortbawi double and a Handley home run highlighted the six-run first inning, while Logan Crook crushed a homer of his own in the third.
Crook launched one down the left field line in the fourth inning, hitting the foul pole and giving UAH a 17-1 lead. It was the first at bat for Crook this season and he made it a memorable one.
Lead-off hitter Justin Pearson recorded a pair of RBIs and two runs scored, while the two-hole hitter Burton also added two RBIs and two runs scored.
Kortbawi, in extending his hitting streak to a school-record 29 games, scored three runs going 2-for-4 at the plate. The senior also tallied a pair of RBIs.
Handley finished with a game-high three RBIs with his replacement Jordan Shusteric adding two RBIs of his own.
UAH finished with 15 hits in the game and a season-high 21 runs scored. The school record for runs scored is 29 back in 1996.
The Chargers combined to steal six bases and were hit by a pitch on five plate appearances.
Alex Aultman picked his second win of the season to move his record to 2-0. Aultman threw just three innings, allowing one earned run.
UAH returns to the diamond on Tuesday, February 19, when they travel to Birmingham to take on Miles College of the SIAC. First pitch is scheduled for an afternoon time of 1 p.m.