Sat, Mar. 31, 2012 - [Baseball]
MCKENZIE, Tenn. - Evan Mansell delivered a pair of big hits again today, and Roberto Ferguson tossed a complete game as the Freed-Hardeman Lions regained first place in the TranSouth Conference after splitting a double-header with No. 18 Bethel (Tenn.) University, winning 5-1 before losing the series finale 3-2.
It was the game one win that guaranteed No. 21 FHU (25-13, 11-4) sole possession of the top spot in the conference standings. The Lions hold a 1.5 game lead over Bethel and a three game lead over Union (Tenn.) University.
In that game, it was Mansell's two hits in the first three innings that gave Freed-Hardeman a 3-0 lead. He had an RBI infield single in the first and hit a two-run shot in the third, his seventh of the year.
It was more than enough for Ferguson (5-0), who scattered six hits over seven innings and allowed a lone run in the fourth.
The Lions picked up two more runs in the top of the seventh when Bethel shortstop Brent Adams threw a ball away, allowing Robert Prieto and Blake Taylor to score.
The finale was a pitchers' duel between Hunter Newby and Gary Ward. Neither team scored until the bottom of the sixth, when Bethel's Lance Jerrald hit a two-out, three-run home run.
FHU rallied in the top of the seventh against Ward, who allowed only one hit through six innings. Aggressive baserunning set up a two-out, two-run single by Joe Mike, and Taylor - pinch-running for Mike - stole second to move into scoring position. However, Ward retired Kirkland Wheeler to end the game and avoid the sweep.
Newby (3-4) took the loss allowing three runs on five hits. Ward struck out 11 in improving to 6-0 on the season.
The Lions return to action on Tuesday, April 3, with a trip to NCAA Division II University of North Alabama at 5:00 PM.