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Braves sweep PBC foe Flagler in series

By D.J. McCray
Sports Writer

Braves rip Fayetteville State
Photo by Mindy Hubbard
Braves senior Kenny Mickens connects with a pitch earlier this season.
Mickens had three RBIs in UNCP's 17-9 game two win in their series
against Flagler.

UNCP's dynamic baseball team swept Flagler in a three game series March 12 and 13. The Braves took game one 4-3 in dramatic fashion thanks to a Joe Mangum walk-off double before tallying 17 runs in game two and rallying back for a 8-4 win in the series finale.

In the opener, the Braves trailed 3-0 after the first four innings, as Flagler jumped on UNCP early when John Sgromolo cracked a RBI double for the first score.

Sgromolo continued to dominate at the plate in the third inning when he hit a two-run homer with two outs off a timely error on the Braves' side increasing the score in Flagler's favor to 3- 0.

UNCP senior Keith Whitman ignited the Braves with a solo home run in the fifth. The inning proved to be the best for Pembroke as they closed with three total runs.

Redshirt-junior Braxton Lewis struck out one batter in two innings of relief and picked up his third win for the Braves while Flagler's Jonathan Armold turned out four earned runs on six hits, had three walks and five strikeouts in the loss.

UNCP's win ended Flagler's four game winning streak.

Offensive explosion

UNCP put on a slugging showcase in game two of the series winning big, 17-9.

Seven different Braves got on the stat sheet with at least two hits. Whitman continued to perform well at the plate driving in two runs and a run of his own. Junior Josh Haley hit two doubles and scored two runs on a 3- for-4 outing, while senior Jason Coker knocked his third home run of the season, finishing the game 1- for-3.

Flagler got three hits from three different players. Charlie Stewart led the team with a home run and four RBIs on 3-for-5 batting. Devon Hellett and Sgromolo both went 3-for-5 and Travis Coverston drove in two RBIs, but it proved to not be enough for UNCP's scoring rampage.

Sophomore Brantley Hattrich had two strikeouts in 1-2/3 innings of work and picked up the win for UNCP.

Starting pitcher, senior Tyler Wood added five strikeouts, as UNCP was able to have five different pitchers get in work on the mound in the game.

UNCP started stacking runs early on, ending the first inning up 4-0, but Flagler regained momentum with five runs in the third.

The Braves went on a scoring spree scoring four runs in both the third and fourth innings, and the Saints could never recover from the deficit.

Comeback win

Flagler took the field aggressively in the final game of the weekend series, scoring four runs in their first four at-bats, but the Braves punched back scoring eight unanswered runs and sweeping the Saints with a 8-4 victory.

Junior J.J. Williams drove in a run and singled twice on a 2-for-4 hitting performance for UNCP.

Haley tallied a RBI on a 2- for-4 day at the plate and Whitman also went 2-for-4.

UNCP senior Brad Isom got off to a slow start in the first inning, but was impressive recording a career high 10 strikeouts picking up his fifth win.

"Isom had a rough first inning but it didn't faze him. He went back out and threw excellent for the next seven innings, holding them to four runs," Bridgeman said.

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Updated: Saturday, March 19, 2011
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