By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Louisburg, NC---The No. 3 Louisburg College baseball team showed why they are the No. 3 NJCAA D-I team in the nation again on Sunday with a doubleheader sweep over the Express, 12-6 and 10-2.
Game 1: Louisburg 12 Owens 6
The Express took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first and were only down 4-2 late in the game, but an eight run fifth inning for Louisburg was too much for the Express.
Louisburg would then add one in the second and three in the third before their eight run fifth.
The Express did try to rally back. In the sixth, Sickler singled to lead off the inning, advanced to second on an error, advanced to third on a ground ball, and scored on a wild pitch to make it 12-3.
Then, in the seventh, the Express scored three. Daniel Heatherly, pinch hitting for Nick Collins, singled to lead off. Then, James Moore Jr. pinch hit for Trevor Ozenbaugh and also singled. After a strike out, Moore stole second and Heatherly scored on a throwing error by the catcher attempting to throw out Moore.
After another strikeout, Alex Juday walked to put two runners on. Then, following a wild pitch that advanced the runners to second and third, Logan Shullick lined a two-run single. Michael Louis followed with a single, but Myles Debol popped out to second base to end the rally and the game.
Andrew Joseph started for the Express and went 4.1 innings. He allowed eight hits, seven runs (six earned) and two walks while striking out one. Garrett Scott pitched one-third of an inning in relief of Joseph and allowed four hits, five runs and one walk. Adam Jones pitched the final 1.1 innings. He didn't allow any hits or walks and struck out one.
Elder shined in the leadoff spot for the Express today as he finished 2-for-3 with a run and three stolen bases. Sickler also went 2-for-3 while adding one run and two RBIs. Heatherly, Moore, Horvath and Juday added one run apiece. As a team, Owens finished 9-for-30 at the plate with six runs, four RBIs and two walks.
Zack Houchins led Louisburg at the plate with a 3-for-4 performance that included two runs, two RBIs and a double. As a team, Louisburg finished 12-for-29 at the plate with 11 RBIs, one double, one home run and three walks.
Tony Urban moved to 4-0 on the mound for the Hurricanes. He went 5.1 innings and allowed five hits, three runs and one walk while striking out eight. Urban threw a no-hitter earlier this year.
Click here link to the first game's box score.
Game 2: Louisburg 10 Owens 2
A five run second inning and a three run fourth inning keyed Louisburg's 10-2 defeat of the Express in the second game, while Louisburg's Cody Johnson shut down the Express offense after the first inning.
Johnson, who entered the game with a 0.57 ERA, replaced Demetrus Ingram in the first inning after Ingram had faced just four batters. Johnson went the final 6.1 innings and allowed four hits, one run and one walk while striking out five. Ingram's final line included one run, three walks and one strikeout.
The Express, just like the first game of the doubleheader, scored in the top of the first. After two out walks by Heatherly and Ryan Hotmer, Moore singled to center to score Heatherly and put Owens up 1-0.
Louisburg then scored 10 runs over the next five innings to take a 10-1 lead. The Express added the game's final run in the seventh when Austin Legate lined a single to score Louis, who had doubled to lead off the inning.
Jeff Davis started on the mound for the Express. He went the first 1.2 innings and allowed three hits, five runs and four walks. Jordan Basinger relieved him and went the next 1.2 innings while allowing four hits, four runs and two walks.
Juday then relieved Basinger and also went 1.2 innings, but didn't allow any runs while walking only one. Dane Davis pitched the final inning and allowed one hit, one run and two walks.
Chris Robinson led Louisburg at the plate with a 3-for-4 performance that included one run and one RBI.
Click here for the second game's box score.
With their sweep today, Louisburg remains undefeated at 22-0, while the Express are 0-4. Owens will now have tomorrow off before traveling to Sumter, SC to begin a three game series with NJCAA D-I No. 25 USC-Sumter (10-3) beginning Tuesday. They will head to Myrtle Beach later in the week.