The SMC Pioneers traveled to Allendale, SC to finish the month of March with Region X tilts against USC-Salkehatchie. The weekend started with a somber tone as the Indians mourned the death of teammate Parker Neff, a young man who passed away on Friday, March 29. USC-Salk could have easily canceled the contests but decided to play the games on the weekend in honor and respect of Neff and what he meant to their program. Indians Head Coach Bubba Dorman emotionally shared remarks about Parker prior to game 1, his comments moved many players, fans, and coaches to tears. Baseball seemed insignificant.
Baseball was played, however, and SMC was fortunate to sweep the 4 games played over the weekend.
The Pioneers sent Nate Lamb to the mound in Game 2 where he struck out 6 and raised his record to 4-1. Rome Wallace had a big day at the plate going 4-4 from the leadoff spot in the order. Andrew Krauss and Tristan Shea added two hits each as the 'Neers won 9-2.
Game 3 was a tight affair. SMC jumped to a 4-0 lead on Dayton Brune's Grand Slam but the Indians battled back to knot things at 4. The Pioneers picked up 3 runs late, including Houston Wright's 6th HR, in support of reliever Bradwin Salmond (2-0) who went 2.1 innings with 6 K's. The final score of Game 3 was 7-4.
The Pioneers finished off the series with a sloppy 11-6 4 error effort in Game 4. Bradley Hughes (1-0) picked up his first win of the Spring with 3.1 innings of relief allowing 1 ER while striking out 6. Nick Hoffman was 3-5 and drove in 4 runs. Ward Hacklen added a couple of hits including his 6th HR.
SMC improves to 20-12 overall with a 9-1 Region X leading record.
SMC returns to action next weekend at Riley Park in Sumter, SC where the Pioneers square off against Region foe USC-Sumter.