It may not feel like time for the boys of summer to hit the diamond, but the Lee University Flames kicked off its 2014 campaign with a doubleheader sweep of Emmanuel College Saturday afternoon at Olympic Field. Lee followed a 6-0 game one win with a 5-0 blanking of the Lions in the nightcap.
Five Lee pitchers combined for 16 shutout innings and allowed just eight hits to move the Flames to 2-0 on the season.
Jeremy Stawychny, Ryan Zimmer and Kyle Briner each gave up one hit over nine innings in the opener. Stawychny walked three and struck out five to earn the win. Zimmer walked one and struck out one in two innings of relief, while Briner fanned one in one inning of work.
Nikolay Uherek picked up the win in game two. The junior transfer from Georgia Perimeter College scattered three hits and struck out five batters over six innings. Jeremy Bales pitched the seventh inning. He faced five batters and gave up two hits.
“Our pitching was absolutely terrific today,” said Lee head coach Mark Brew. “Stawychny and Uherek really set the tone for our team today. Anytime you can throw 16 shutout innings on opening day it's an awesome feat by your pitchers.”
Josh Silver was the offensive leader for the Flames (2-0). Silver was 4-for-7 with an RBI and three runs scored. Derrick Pitts finished the day 3-for-8 with a double and an RBI.
Blake Ray and Zacary Hawkins recorded two doubles and Andres Nelo legged out a two-bagger in one of his two hits. Siosi Poti was the only other Flame to record more than one safety.
Hawkins plated three runs, while Jordan Stewart and Blake Ray drove in two runners each.
“I also thought our defense was very solid as well,” admitted Brew. “We do have some improvement we could make offensively and in the running game. We gave away some outs early in the games plus we gave away some at bats. That's to be expected early in the season. Hopefully, our hitters will learn and quickly adjust their approach tomorrow so we can get out of the gate a little quicker."
Lee and Emmanuel are scheduled to tangle again in a single nine-inning game Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.