WILSON, N.C. - Freshman first baseman Jon Gray hit a double and a home run to lead the Pfeiffer University baseball team to an 11-7 Conference Carolinas victory over host Barton College on Sunday afternoon at Nixon Field. The Falcons ripped 15 hits and swiped eight bases en route to the three-game series sweep. Pfeiffer moved to 8-9 overall and a perfect 3-0 in the league. Barton exited 4-11 overall and 0-3 in the conference.
Gray finished with three RBI on his two-run homer in the sixth and his run-producing double in the seventh. Senior Eric Shoemaker (Huntersville, N.C.) started the Falcons scoring with his team-high fifth homer of the season, a solo shot to left in the second.
Sophomore Jacob Yates (Blairs, Va.) continued his big weekend adding a pair of hits. Yates two-run single off the glove of the diving shortstop added two insurance runs in the ninth. Senior Hunter Boehme (Winston-Salem, N.C.) was 2-for-4 with a walk and a team-high three stolen bases. Boehme leads the visitors with 10 thefts on the season.
Trailing 2-0, Barton struck for four runs in the fourth to catapult into the lead. Junior Ryan Daughtry (Princeton, N.C.) started the rally with a triple in the right field gap. Sophomore Zac Crumpler (Wilson, N.C.) drove in Daughtry with a single up the middle and scored on a senior Jordan Smith (Longmont, Colo.) ground-rule double that landed inside the windscreen on the right field fence. After junior Chris Rawlings (Charlotte, N.C.) reached on a fielder’s choice, Smith came home on a double steal. Rawlings plated the final run after an error and a wild pitch.
Gray evened the score with his two-run long ball in the sixth. Pfeiffer regained the lead for good later in the frame on an RBI-single by Boehme. The Falcons then pulled out to an 8-4 advantage with three runs in the seventh. Five straight Falcons reached during the flurry.
Barton attempted a late rally with three runs in the eighth. Smith was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and senior Aaron Watkins (Newport News, Va.) tagged a two-run double through the left side of the infield.
For the second straight day, Falcon senior closer Luke Wilhelm (Lexington, N.C.) got out of a bases loaded jam with a pair of ground balls. Wilhelm then tossed a scoreless ninth to record his third save of the year. Senior reliever Ethan Marsh (Asheboro, N.C.) was credited with his fourth win after tossing three innings of scoreless relief.
Senior starter Hunter Meekins (Manteo, N.C.) suffered his third loss to no wins after allowing eight runs (seven earned) over 6 1/3. Daughtry, Crumpler and freshman David Gibbons (Wilson, N.C.) all had two hits for the Bulldogs.