Hendrix defeats Centre 4-2; takes two of three

DANVILLE, Ky. — Hendrix defeated Centre (Ky.), 4-2, in the rubber match of a three-game series Monday at Gary Wright Field, as the Orange and Black opened the Southern Athletic Association (SAA) portion of their schedule. The Warriors have won 11 of the last 13 meetings in The Bluegrass State.

Hendrix (16-2, 4-1 SAA) improves to 4-1 outside Warrior Baseball Field.

The Warriors’ David Blackburn (4-0), who went the distance on the mound for the second time this season, carried a perfect game into the sixth inning. Blackburn retired the first 16 Colonels he faced and allowed only one hit through 8.1 innings. He ended the game surrendering just two runs, one earned, on three hits with a career-high seven strikeouts.

Rail Gilliam (3) gave Hendrix a 1-0 advantage with a solo shot to left off David Sickles in the top of the third inning. 

Jamie Laframboise tied the contest in the top of the sixth inning when he scored on a Warriors’ fielding error, but Hendrix regained the upper hand for good when Adam Bland (4) took Mason King deep to left for a solo homer. 

A Jacob Carpentier two-run single in the top of the ninth proved to be the game-winner. Jordan Gunter produced a RBI double in the bottom of the frame to cut the Centre (8-7, 2-4 SAA) deficit in half, but Blackburn induced a Patrick Hope ground out and struck out Josh Cunningham to end the rally.

Gilliam, Bland and Zach Marriott each had two hits. Gilliam, Bland, Marriott and Owen Shaw each scored a run.

Sickles started the game but was credited with a no decision, giving up one earned run on three hits with two strikeouts and as many walks and a hit batter in five innings pitched. King (1-1) took the loss, throwing three innings of relief, allowing one earned run on two hits with a strikeout. Karson Thompson pitched the ninth inning, surrendering two earned runs on three hits with a strikeout.