Braves sweep Chowan, send O'Neil past 750-win mark

Mar. 4—PEMBROKE — The UNC Pembroke baseball team used a strong start from Jonathon Jacobs in the opener of Sunday's doubleheader against Chowan to take a 6-4 win, and then pounded out 16 hits to along with 7 2/3 excellent innings from the bullpen to finish off the sweep of the Hawks with a 20-9 victory in the nightcap.

In Saturday's series opener UNC Pembroke faced an early 5-1 deficit, but the bats and the bullpen came alive to take a 13-7 win Saturday afternoon at Sammy Cox Field. The win was head coach Paul O'Neil's 750th as skipper of the Black & Gold.

Jacobs struck out eight over five innings to earn the win in the second game of the series, while Rhett James, Kasen McCawley, Walker Case, and David Warth came out of the pen to combine for 13 strikeouts, while only allowing four hits and three runs over 7 2/3 innings, in the series finale.

The series sweep moved the Braves (15-3, 4-2 CC) to 32-4 all-time against the Hawks (6-13, 2-4 CC).

The Black & Gold will be back in action Tuesday, March 5, as they host Glenville State for a non-conference matchup. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

Game 3

Geomar Santana walked and would trot home on Ryan Bellamy's two-run blast to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the series finale.

The Braves would answer right back in the bottom half, as Kody O'Connor and Joey Rezek both walked, and Jake Bradley would score O'Connor to cut the two-run deficit in half. After a Jacob Smith walk loaded the bases, Will Hood's RBI free pass tied the game at 2-2. Andrew Jenner provided a two-run single to give the hosts a 4-2 lead.

In the top of the second, Caleb Karie provided an RBI single, Elvis Rumaldo added an RBI double, before Santana drove Karie home with a base hit to put the Hawks in front again 5-4. Tyler West added an RBI single to stretch it to 6-4.

UNCP once again answered, as O'Connor would double home Carlos Amezquita, and Bradley provided a sac fly to tie it back up at 6 apiece in the bottom of the second. Jenner, Isaias Villarreal, and Blake Hinson all added RBI walks to make it a 9-6 lead after two innings.

Rezek went big fly to start the fifth-inning Braves onslaught, before Smith smacked an RBI double and Hood added an RBI single to make it 13-6. Spencer Faulkner would break the game open with a grand slam to make it 17-6. Rezek would also add an RBI single in the inning, before the Braves would add two more on a walk and a wild pitch to make it 20-6 after five complete.

Rezek had three hits including a home run, two RBIs and four runs for UNCP, Jenner had three hits and three RBIs and Faulkner had four RBIs off his grand slam. James (2-0) earned the win in 2 2/3 innings scoreless innings pitched, allowing two hits with six strikeouts, and Warth earned his first career save.

Bellamy had two hits and two RBIs and Rumaldo had two hits and one RBI for Chowan. Patrick Driggers (0-2) was the losing pitcher.

Game 2

Joey Rezek led off the second inning of Sunday's doubleheader opener with a single, Bradley would follow with a single, and Andrew Jenner would put the Braves on the board first with an RBI single. Zane Brockman made it 2-0 with an RBI groundout to score Bradley.

Chowan's West was hit by a pitch to start the think inning, while Rumaldo would bring West home with an RBI double. Santana's single turned into a little league home run after a Braves error to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead.

UNCP's Bradley deposited the first pitch he saw leading off the fourth to quickly knot the score at 3-3. Brockman would start a two-out rally with a single, before moving to second on Blake Hinson's walk. Carlos Amezquita put the Braves ahead 4-3 with an RBI single to score Brockman.

UNCP would once again strike with two outs in the sixth, this time using a Blake Hinson walk to get it started. Amezquita would double to extend the frame, and O'Connor would score them both with a single to add two key insurance runs and make it 6-3.

Bradley and Amezquita each had two hits to lead UNCP, with one RBI apiece. O'Connor had a hit and two RBIs. Jacobs (1-0) pitched five innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and Chase Jernigan earned his fourth save.

Santana and Rumaldo each had two hits and one RBI for Chowan. Josh Wise (0-1) took the loss.

Game 1

The Braves used 14 walks by the Chowan pitching staff, to go along with homers from Will Hood and Jake Bradley and excellent relief outings from Jacob Smith and HL Smith to put the game away.

Chowan's Ryan Bellamy got the second inning started with a single, before Ty Johnson followed with a single. Jackson Dunlap singled Bellamy home, while Christian Allen would score two with a double. Rumaldo would add an RBI groundout to make it 4-1 Hawks.

Morgan Padgett worked a two-out walk for UNCP in the third, before Joey Rezek and Isaias Villarreal would both earn a free pass to load the bases. Jake Bradley added an RBI walk, while Will Hood cut the deficit to one with a two-RBI single to make it 5-4.

O'Connor would lead off the Braves' sixth inning with a walk and come around to score on a wild pitch to give the Braves the lead at 8-7. Rezek would add to the lead with a sac fly, while Bradley's RBI single added another. Hood followed with a two-run bomb to cap off the scoring and give the Black & Gold a 12-7 lead.

Hood had three hits and two walks, with a home run and four RBIs, for the Braves; Bradley had two hits and a walk with a home run and three RBIs. Jacob Smith (2-0) pitched three scoreless, hitless innings with four strikeouts to earn the win.

Chowan's Bellamy had two hits, including a home run and an RBI, for Chowan and Jackson Dunlap had two hits and an RBI; Allan recorded a double and two RBIs. Bradley Wilbourne (2-3) took the loss for the Hawks.

The Black & Gold will be back in action Tuesday, March 5, as they host Glenville State for a non-conference matchup. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.