Pitts Ties Stolen Base Record, Berry Splits With Bryan
ROME, Ga. - Cory Pitts tied Berry's career stolen base record in the second game of a doubleheader, and the Vikings' offense exploded early in the first game as Berry and Bryan split a twin bill at William R. Bowdoin Field Tuesday. The Vikings won the opener 10-8, and Bryan took the nightcap 7-6.
Pitts stole a base in each game, the second of the day giving him 76 during his career that has spanned just less than three full seasons. He stole second base in the sixth inning of the second game to tie the record that Rodney Wilson (1988-91) has held for two decades. It looked like Pitts was going to break the record right afterward, taking off for third base with designated hitter Austin Neely at the plate, but Bryan pitcher Josh Harris was called for a balk.
Pitts was left stranded at third after the Vikings had already scored a run in the inning, ending a rally in which Berry pulled to within one run of the Lions after falling behind 6-1 earlier in the game.
Neely drove in three runs and scored another in the finale, while Travis Blackburn drove in a pair of runs and Isaac Hardee pushed a run home with a sacrifice fly. Pitts was 2-for-2 with three runs scored in the loss.
Bryan starter Billy Veal earned the victory in the seven-inning game, allowing five runs on five hits in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out three batters and walked two.
Scott Pollock (1-1) took the loss. He allowed six runs on six hits and six walks in three innings. He struck out four batters.
In the opener, Berry exploded for eight runs in the first three innings to take what looked to be a commanding lead. Bryan would chip away, scoring five runs in the seventh inning and bringing the would-be leading run to the plate with two outs. But Berry head coach David Beasley summoned Josh Dilbeck from the bullpen, and Dilbeckwould get Tyler Latham to fly out to end the ballgame.
The Vikings collected 11 hits in the victory, with the top eight hitters in the batting order collecting at least one. Neely, Thomas Johnson and Cason Dremann had two hits apiece. Blackburn drove in a game high three runs.
Berry starter Casey Gray (4-3) earned the win. He allowed six runs on seven hits and three walks, while striking out seven batters in six innings. Elliott Alexander allowed two unearned runs in two-thirds of a frame before Dilbeck showed up to retire the lone batter he faced and earn his second save.
The Vikings are scheduled to return to action April 15 against Emory.
- BerryVikings.com -