April 6, 2010
Rome, Ga. - Joey Taylor and Kurtis Robinson hit back-to-back two-run doubles in the sixth as homestanding Shorter College rallied from a 4-3 deficit to top Atlanta Christian College, 9-4, in the second game of a doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon.
With a 10-0 blanking of the Crusaders in the opener, the Hawks (20-20) extended their winning streak to seven games - the longest streak in the past two seasons - and surpassed last season's win total with 13 games still remaining in the regular season schedule.
In the nightcap, Shorter raced out to a 3-0 lead with the help of RBI singles from Clint Harkins and Blake Chapman. Atlanta Christian responded with two runs apiece in the fifth and sixth innings to take a 4-3 lead, but the Hawks came right back with a six-spot in their half of the sixth.
A Chapman RBI single reclaimed a 5-4 lead for Shorter two batters later and with two away, Taylor and Robinson tagged consecutive two-run doubles to put the Hawks ahead, 9-4.
The Crusaders managed a leadoff base hit in the seventh, but Hawks' reliever Adam Pilate forced three straight outs, concluding the game with a strikeout to earn the win.
Hawks' game one starter Lee Verweel pitched well for Shorter, turning in five innings and allowing two earned runs on just three hits while striking out seven Crusaders.
Chapman and Harkins led the way offensively. Each player went 2-for-3 at the dish with Chapman registering two RBI and Harkins one.
In the opener, Johnson went a perfect 3-for-3 - including a pair of two-run doubles - and drove in a game-high four runs to pace the Hawks in the runaway victory.
Shorter's pitching trio of starter Chad Hodges and relievers Chapman and Thurman combined to surrender just three hits en route to securing the shutout and the Hawks' sixth straight win.
Hodges went three innings and struck out three, Chapman needed just eight pitches to complete his scoreless, two strikeout inning and Thurman earned the win by pitching a one-hit fifth.
Offensively, Johnson flexed his muscle once again. His two-run double down the right field line ignited a four-run outburst in the bottom of the third and his two-run two-bagger to left in the fifth kick started a game-clinching, six-run frame.
Houston contributed three RBI in the win, recording a two-run single in the third and driving in another run on the heels of Johnson's double in the fifth. Joseph Brooks, Garrett Burgess and Taylor, who went 3-for-4 in the leadoff spot in game one, also picked up an RBI apiece in the winning effort.
Shorter returns to the diamond this weekend, Friday and Saturday, April 9-10 when they travel to Mount Vernon, Ga., for a three-game set against Southern States Athletic Conference foe Brewton-Parker College. Friday's nine-inning affair is slated to start at 4 p.m. while Saturday's twin bill will begin at 1 p.m.