The Owls are 3-0 after a sweep of North Carolina Central.
The baseball team showed no signs of early-season rust as its offense outscored North Carolina Central, 54-17, sweeping the three-game series.
In their season-opener, the Owls jumped out to a first-inning 5-0 lead after senior outfielder Byron McKoy scored on an error and then, with the bases loaded, junior catcher Taylor Juran hit a grand slam in an 18-5 win last Friday. The offense continued to score, entering the fourth inning with a 7-3 lead, as the Owls knocked in nine more runs.
Senior shortstop Adrian Perez and sophomore outfielder Daniel Dragos added two RBIs each, while five other players each had one RBI. Senior pitcher Ben White earned the win by going six innings, allowing four runs and striking out seven.
Redshirt-junior infielder Steve Nikorak took over the second game on Saturday with two home runs, a double and six RBIs in a four-for-seven outing against the Eagles. A majority of the Owls’ runs came between the third and fifth innings, as they scored a combined 20 runs during the three frames.
Junior pitcher Brant Norlander made his first start as an Owl, lasting 3.2 innings, allowing five runs with one of them earned. But junior pitcher Jimmy Devine picked up the win in 2.1 scoreless-innings of relief work.
To close out the series, freshman pitcher Matt Hockenberry went 6.2 innings, giving up six hits and two runs, in a 16-2 win in game three on Sunday in his collegiate debut. Senior outfielder Ryan Ferguson led the offense with five RBIs and McKoy added three runs and three RBIs.
The Cherry and White began the season with a 3-0 start, its best start since 1969, when the team won its first nine games of the year. The Owls will travel to High Point, N.C., on Friday to face the Panthers in a three-game series.
Connor Showalter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.