The red-hot Spring Hill College baseball team will get back to Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play this weekend (April 20-22) when the Badgers host Kentucky State University at Historic Stan Galle Field.
The Badgers face the Thorobreds Friday night at 6, followed by a Saturday doubleheader -- with games at noon and 2:30 p.m.
April has been a good month for the Badgers, who won five of six games before splitting a doubleheader against Miles College on Monday. SHC dropped the first game at Miles, 10-6, before winning the second game, 25-9. The outcomes give the Badgers a conference record of 12-1. SHC played again Wednesday night, dropping a 9-7 non-conference loss to the University of Mobile. SHC enters this weekend’s series with an overall record of 21-16.
Through the first 35 games of this season, the Badgers have been led by junior outfield Brennan Fontenot, freshman outfield Grayson Williams and junior outfielder Luke Wall, according to statistics maintained by the SHC Office of Sports Information. Fontenot has led the team in runs batted in (33) and doubles (13) while hitting for an average of .336. Williams hit .370 through 35 games while knocking in 31 runs. Wall has a had a team-leading batting average of .419. Fontenot has eight home runs, while fellow outfielder Justin Collier and Williams follow at seven and six, respectively.
Right-handers Zach Paulene (junior), Austin Barrios (junior) and Lucas Kunkel (freshman) have gotten the majority of the pitching work this season, followed by freshmen Grant Schroeder and Jonathan Williams.
SHC last played at home on April 6-7, when the Badgers swept two games from conference foe Tuskegee. The Badgers won the first game, 13-5. The Badger baseball team started off the game on the right foot taking a 4-0 lead in the first inning. The Golden Tigers responded with four runs in the second inning yet the Tuskegee baseball team was unable to keep up with SHC. The game ended in an exciting triple play for the Badgers, the first of their season.
In their second game of the night, the Badgers came out on top again with a 5-1 win. Fontenot stroked a home run over the right centerfield gate in the fifth inning to bring the Badgers to a 4-1 lead. Fontenot stated that: “This was a great weekend to get ahead in the conference standings. I was happy that we kept our composure when things got tough and got the sweep this weekend.”
The Badgers played another game against the Tuskegee Golden Tigers on Saturday, April 7. The SHC baseball team came out on top 12-10 against Tuskegee.
Jim Hall, director of athletics, expressed his satisfaction with the weekend series: “I was really proud of our baseball team this weekend in their SIAC series with Tuskegee. They overcame some significant adversity to pull off a three-game sweep of a scrappy Tuskegee squad. I think that has kind of been the theme this year, Badger tenacity overcoming adversity. The team has a lot of new faces and has dealt with some injuries at inopportune times.”
On Monday, in the first game against Miles College, Grayson Williams had a three-run home run, while Wall added a four-for-four performance, according to SHC Sports Information. In the second game, Wall went three for four and drove in three runs, extending his hitting streak to 17 games. Fontenot stroked his eighth home run of the year, and freshman catcher Blair Lacy added his first collegiate home run in the game.
Hall added that it’s commendable how the Badgers have come together at the right time, with just a few weeks left of the season. “I am really excited to see how the team performs down the stretch run of the season the next three weeks,” he said.
Following the weekend series with Kentucky State, SHC has one more SIAC series left on the schedule -- three home games against Claflin University on April 27 and 28.