Lee University kept pace with the top of the SSAC baseball standings with a 3-1 defeat of Emmanuel College Friday night at Olympic Field.
With William Carey University’s 7-0 blanking of Faulkner University, the Flames are now one game out of a first-place tie.
Lee (21-6, 10-3 SSAC) took advantage of eight hits and three Emmanuel (11-11, 2-8 SSAC) errors to push across three runs, while the Lions could only manage one run on four hits and three Lee errors.
Corey Davis was the game’s only batter to record more than one hit. The right-fielder finished the night 2-for-4 with an RBI and one run scored.
Brady Renner tallied the only extra-base hit of the game with a double in the first inning. Josh Silver, Danny Canela, Karsten Strieby, Derrick Pitts and Cameron Brewster all stroked singles.
Strieby delivered an RBI to add an insurance run in the eighth inning. The run scored by Silver was the only earned run of the night.
“It was a good old-fashioned Friday night SSAC pitchers’ duel,” said Lee head coach Mark Brew.” I thought our pitchers did an excellent job tonight competing. We missed some opportunities offensively, but found a way to scratch a few runs.”
The Lions took an early 1-0 lead in the fourth inning as Lee committed an error on an attempted bases loaded force out at second base.
The Flames would get even an inning later. Davis reached on a bunt single and moved to second on Brewster’s sacrifice bunt that was misplayed by the Emmanuel defense. Brandon Rader reached first as his sacrifice bunt as Davis beat out the throw to third. Davis then scored the tying run on what would have been an inning ending double play, if not for the earlier error.
Davis gave Lee the lead with a sixth-inning RBI single that plated Strieby, who had earlier reach via error.
Myles Smith earned his fifth win of the season after scattering three hits and two walks over seven innings. Smith (5-2) allowed one unearned run and struck out eight Lions.
Keegan Yuhl gave up one hit and fanned one in one inning of relief. Andy Hillis threw 10 pitches in striking out the side in the ninth inning to record his fifth save.
Mark Shevock (1-4) went the distance for Emmanuel and was tagged with the loss. He gave up three runs (one earned), eight hits, walked one and struck out five.
“We will need to be focused tomorrow for 16 innings to have a chance to win the series,” added Brew.
The Flames and Lions will finish the three-game SSAC series Saturday afternoon with a doubleheader starting at noon.