Stillman College traveled to Emerson, Georgia opening its 2016 season with an upset split against a highly ranked Mercyhurst University in the Perfect Game Spring Swing. The game one win gave Julius McDougal his first head coaching victory as the Tigers won 4-2. The second game of the doubleheader went the way of Mercyhurst by a score of 2-0. Both games were seven-inning affairs.
In the first game, the Tigers shut down No. 3 ranked Mercyhurst University and its NCAA Division II top rank offense. Stillman Starter Josh Freeman (1-0) went the distance tossing seven strong innings allowing 7 hits, 2 runs, recording 5 strikeouts while walking one batter.
Mercyhurst scored the game’s first runs for a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Stillman got on the scoreboard with a three-run sixth inning, highlighted by Taylor Ellis two-run single. Next, Hank Parker provided a go-ahead, run-scoring single. Josh McDaniel gave Stillman an insurance run belting his first home run of the season in the top of the seventh inning extending Stillman’s lead for the 4-2 win.
In game two, Mercyhurst pitched a two-hit shutout for the Lakers beating the Tigers 2-0. Zach Gonzalez was the losing pitcher for Stillman, giving up two runs on five hits while finishing with one strikeout and three walks.
Stillman College promoted assistant coach McDougal to head coach of the baseball program after serving under former coach Donny Crawford who resigned at the conclusion of the 2015 season. Prior to coming to Stillman, McDougal spent one season at Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) foe Kentucky State University as an assistant.
McDougal, no stranger to SIAC baseball, finished his four-year career at Claflin University batting .325 including .400 in 2010 and .321 in 2011 and finished among the top in Division II baseball.
The same two teams will meet again on Sunday, beginning at 1 p.m.