Tougaloo College Opens Season With Doubleheader Split 

 Tougaloo College finally got the opportunity to open its scheduled 2021 season after 13 games were either postponed or canceled due to inclement weather. The Bulldog baseball team took on the Mississippi University for Women baseball team in a doubleheader on Friday posting its first win of the season by the score of 3-2 in game one, then a pitching duel in game two had the Owls prevail 2-1. 

In game one, defense was shaky, but Tougaloo pitcher Antonio Shelton and MUW’s Drew Williams, were able to keep their teams in the game. Six errors were committed between both teams. 

The Owls scored the game’s first run in the top of the first inning. Heath Ford singled, then advanced to second on a routine groundout to third base. Domain Benefield doubled to left field plating Ford for the 1-0 lead. 

Tougaloo would tie the game in the bottom of the second. Caleb Houston singled to right field, pinch runner Christian Borders entered the game and stole second base, Adolphus Brewer reached base on Owls shortstop Trey Petite’s throwing error, and Borders scored to even the game at 1-1. 

Tougaloo would take the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Houston singled to right field. With Borders pinch running for Houston, Bradford Patton sacrificed Borders to second, who then scored on Owls second baseman Logan Suggs’ throwing error for the 2-1 lead.

In the sixth, Mississippi University for Women tied the game at 2-2. Benefield led off the inning with a double to left-centered-field, Johndavid Birdsong singled to right, pinch runner Blaize Gann, in for Benefield, advanced to third. The next batter, Josh Tucker was hit by pitch by Bulldogs reliever Jacquez Hardy to load the bases. Reese Wagner hit a sacrifice fly to center scoring Gann to knot the game up.

The game would go to an extra frame. The Bulldogs sealed their win in the extra inning on three walks and a hit batter which scored the game winning run. 

Caleb Houston led Tougaloo at the plate with a 2-for-3 appearance and Isaiah Rush was 2-for-3 with one RBI. 

Jacques Hardy threw four innings in relief and picked up his first win of the season. 

In game two, Hardy who saw action on the hill in the first game, was the starter for the Bulldogs in the second game and threw a complete 7.0 innings, losing to the Owls 2-1 for the doubleheader split. He allowed seven hits, two runs, two earned runs striking out five Owl batters.

The Owls got on the scoreboard first in the top of the second inning on catcher Collins Brown’s home run for the 1-0 lead.

Tougaloo’s lone run came in the fourth inning. D’Anthony Morrow singled to right field, stole second base. Bradford Patton single and Morrow scored to tie the game at 1-1. 

The final run of the game was scored in the bottom of the fifth. Reese Wagner doubled to center to lead off and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Heath Ford singled to left-center for the RBI, sending Wagner home for the game-winning run.

At the plate, D’Anthony Morrow was 2-for-3 and Bradford Patton one run batted in. 

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