Baseball shows resiliency in conference opener

Ashton Nix

The Samford baseball team swept a doubleheader against Furman Saturday afternoon in its first conference series of the spring at Joe Lee Griffin Field.

With this sweep, the Bulldogs took the series from the Paladins two games to one. The wins improve Samford’s record to 9-12 overall, with a 2-1 record in conference play.

After dropping their SoCon opener on Friday with a 6-4 loss, the Bulldogs rebounded strongly in Saturday’s doubleheader.

Samford surged ahead early in the first game, leading 9-2 after three innings. While Furman did manage to cut the lead to 9-6 through six innings, the ‘Dogs held on and plated three more runs in the 12-6 route.

The second game, however, looked very bleak for the Bulldogs through five innings.PR-Baseball

As the sixth inning began, Furman led 6-0. Samford went on to score seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and held the Paladins off once again for the victory.

“Today was a gutsy day. Two different games, two big wins,” head coach Casey Dunn said. “I thought the guys really showed a lot of character today in the way that they finished. We got up and stayed ahead in the first game, but in the second game for us to get behind, and then to not flatten out, to not give up, but to fight back says a lot about this group.”

Senior relief pitcher Andres Gracia had a big day on the mound, earning saves in both games of the doubleheader and moving his save count to four for the season.

“It feels good to come back and win two games. It’s good to see our guys battle, especially when we were down 6-0 and came back with seven runs,” Gracia said.

“It’s a good start to turning our season around. Hopefully, we can continue this route this week and the rest of this season.”

While conference play is just getting started, expectations for this season are already high.

“It’s good to win the first conference series at home. If we play like this at conference, I feel like we’ll have a good shot at winning,” Gracia said.

“Hopefully we can win conference this year, roll into the conference tournament with a lot of confidence and go get a ring.”

The team extended its win streak to three games   after storming to a 12-6 road victory over Alabama State last night.

The ‘Dogs return to action tonight when they host in-state rival Jacksonville State.

First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. (CDT) on Joe Lee Griffin Field.

 

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