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By Sam Hickman
BOLIVIA—The Brunswick Community College baseball team entered the 2013 season with 30 or more wins in each of the last three seasons. The way things are shaping up, BCC may be on its way to another year of such success.
The Dolphins opened this season by sweeping the East Carolina club team in a doubleheader on Saturday at Founders Field.
Under the direction of head coach Robbie Allen, BCC rolled to a 10-0 victory in the first game of the twinbill before securing a 6-1 win in the second contest.
Although Allen’s squad lost most of its pitching from a year ago, four of the top hitters returned for their sophomore seasons and the quartet of Ryan Hill, Hunter Allen, Johnathan Corbett and Bryson Benton powered BCC to a 10-0 win in the season opener.
The four players combined to go 8-for-10 with five RBIs and eight runs scored in the first tilt. In 12 plate appearances, they reached base a total of 11 times.
“I don’t want to jinx them, but I wouldn’t want to face them,” Allen said of the top four hitters in his lineup. “I think we have a really good chance with those guys at the top.”
Each of the four players singled to begin the contest, staking BCC to an early lead. Hill came around to score on a Corbett’s single through the left side. Benton, a native of South Jordan, Utah, plated Allen with a rope to right over the first baseman’s head to push the home team in front 2-0.
Sophomore catcher Matt Archer sparked a second-inning rally that propelled the Dolphins to a 6-0 lead. Archer singled with one out and moved to third on Allen’s single to left-center. Corbett (3-for-3, three RBIs, two runs) followed with his second run-scoring single before Benton (2-for-2, two RBIs) drove in another run with a double. South Brunswick High School graduate Ryan Brendle capped the second-inning explosion with a two-run double to right-center, giving the Dolphins a 6-0 advantage.
With a 6-0 lead, Brunswick put the game out of reach by scoring four more runs in the third. Once again, Archer (1-for-2, two runs) ignited the rally. The Myrtle Beach, S.C., native drew a two-out walk. Hill reached base for the second time of the contest by drawing a walk of his own. With two outs and two on, Allen laid down a bunt just in front of the plate. East Carolina’s Mark Brown fielded the bunt but his throw sailed into right field, scoring two and giving BCC an 8-0 lead.
Allen (2-for-3, three runs) scored a batter later on Corbett’s RBI single, his third run-scoring single of the afternoon. The 10th and final run scored later in the frame when Ryan reached on an error. The game was called after the top-half of the fifth because BCC had a 10-run advantage.
Zachary Andrews (1-0) earned the win for the Dolphins. The sophomore right-hander, who has signed with Charleston Southern University, allowed six hits and struck out four over four scoreless innings of work.
Freshman Justin White pitched the fifth for Brunswick. White hurled a scoreless stanza, allowing one hit and fanning one.
The Dolphins received another solid performance on the mound in game two, this time from four pitchers, on their way to a 6-1 win in the nightcap.
Keaton Oaks (1-0) impressed in his collegiate debut as the freshman righty from Apex fired four innings of scoreless ball while surrendering just two hits. He struck out one and walked one.
Sophomore Tim Powell threw the fifth stanza for BCC, yielding one run on one hit. He walked one.
Freshman Cameron Smith (Lexington, S.C.) pitched a scoreless sixth for the Dolphins in which he didn’t allow a walk or hit. He struck out one in a perfect inning of work.
Sophomore Kyle Shields walked the first two batters of the final inning but rebounded by retiring the next three batters to secure Brunswick’s 6-1 triumph. Shields struck out one in the seventh.
The Dolphins grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Michael Deese walked to begin the frame and moved to second when Ryan Maksim reached on an error. Jimmy Boyd walked to load the bases before Patrick Graham drove in a pair of runs with a double, giving BCC a two-run lead.
Brunswick extended its lead to 3-0 in the second when Tyler Revell drew a one-out walk and later scored on Boyd’s sacrifice fly.
Anthony Colantino sparked a rally in the third with a one-out single. He moved to second when Chad Felton was hit by a pitch. Revell (1-for-2, two RBIs) drove in both runners with a double down the right-field line. Brunswick led 5-0 after three innings of play.
BCC scored its final run of the contest in the sixth. Maksim (2-for-4) laced a one-out single and scored later in the frame when Graham (2-for-4, double, three RBIs) singled.
After his club outscored its opponent 16-1 in 12 innings in the season-opening doubleheader, Allen seemed excited about his club’s prospects.
“We swung the bats pretty good in the first game. Our second group came in the second game and did what they had to do to be successful,” said Allen, who warned his team not to get complacent after Saturday’s sweep.
“Overall it was a good day for us, but that’s the thing about baseball, tomorrow it could change and everything could go against us. I think we had some bright spots today. I think we have a pretty good team. We just have to stay together.”