Feb. 20, 2010
Rome, Ga. - Matt Johnson's two-out, two-run double capped a four-run bottom of the ninth for Shorter College and sent the Hawks to a dramatic, 5-4 victory over No. 8-ranked Campbellsville University in the final game of a weekend, three-game series at Robert H. Ledbetter Baseball Complex.
The win helped Shorter (3-6) rebound from a pair defeats at the hands of the Tigers (2-1) on Friday afternoon and improved the Hawks' home record to 3-2 on the year.
The Hawks entered their final at-bat facing a seemingly insurmountable 4-1 deficit. Shorter's entire ninth inning rally came with two outs and against a team that had advanced to the NAIA National Championships in 2009.
A leadoff walk and two base hits loaded the bases with two away in the ninth for sophomore Austin Roberts. Roberts came through with a single up the middle on a 2-2 count that scored Garrett Burgess and Clint Harrison to draw the Hawks to within 4-3.
After Kurtis Robinson drew a walk to load the bases once again, Johnson fell behind in the count 0-2 before delivering his only hit of the day, a two-bagger to left center that plated Adam Thurman and Roberts for the walk-off win.
Shorter's Blake Chapman earned the win on the mound, but it was Hawks' starter J.D. Price that kept Shorter within striking distance for the entire contest.
Price allowed just one run to a powerful Tigers' lineup that had scored 21 runs in the teams' two games the day before. He surrendered three hits and struck out eight in his six innings of work.
Price held Campbellsville scoreless until a Richie Rowland RBI single put the guests up 1-0 in the top of the fourth. The Tigers extended their lead to 3-0 with single tallies in the seventh and eighth inning off of Chapman, but Shorter finally got on the board in the bottom of the eighth to gain some momentum.
Following a Shannon Houston single, Clint Harkins doubled to center advancing Houston to third. Robinson managed an RBI groundout two batters later that scored Houston and cut the Hawks' deficit to 3-1.
Roberts went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI for the Hawks. Harrison also went 2-for-3 with a run and Houston came off the bench to go a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate.
Chapman pitched three complete and gave up three runs, two earned, while recording one strikeout. Campbellsville reliever Rusty Devitt was tagged with the loss after giving up all four Shorter runs on three hits and two walks in 0.2 innings of work.
The Hawks return to the diamond on Tuesday, Feb. 23 when they travel to Bryan College for a double-header beginning at 1 p.m.