Mustangs sweep Philander Smith in home opener

BENTON — Shifting their series from Burns Park to Benton High School, Central Baptist College baseball hosted the Panthers of Philander Smith tonight in their first ‘home’ game of the season. CBC (5-1) won both games of the doubleheader over PSU (0-5) by identical 8-2 scores, finishing with eight hits in both games as well.


The scoring started early in game one as Jalen Hicks launched his first home run of the season to make it 1-0 in the first. Then, following a pop fly and a hit by pitch, Jacori Hicks tripled home Ryan Dauphinee and then scored himself on an error that put CBC ahead 3-0. That was all starter Austin LeJeune needed, as he threw three hitless innings, allowing just one unearned run with two strikeouts and a walk. A wild pitch that scored Ian Velazquez in the second made it 4-0 before PSU cracked the scoreboard in the top of the third to make it 4-1. CBC put the game away in the third, scoring four times to make it 8-1. With two outs, Jacori Hicks drew a walk and stole second, while Ruben Hernandez, who had reached earlier on a fielder’s choice, stole third. Following a walk to Cameron Harden to load the bases, Danilo Taborda plated two with a single to make it 6-1. Ian Velazquez then bunted home a run to make it 7-1 and he triggered an error while on the bases that chased home CBC’s final run. PSU scored one in the seventh, but that’s as close as they got. Following LeJeune, who got the win, were Jackson Pope and Landon Hitchcock. Pope threw three innings and allowed one hit while striking out four. Hitchcock allowed a hit and a run in one inning, striking out one.


Game two also saw all of CBC’s runs come in the first three innings. The Mustangs grabbed a 4-0 lead in the first thanks to an RBI single from Hernandez, a two-run triple from Dauphinee and a single from Rolando Rodriguez. The Mustangs would add three more in the second on two fielder’s choices and added their final run in the third on another fielder’s choice to wrap up the scoring. PSU scored both their runs in the fifth. Brennan Duhe started and got the win, throwing three innings and allowing two hits and one walk while striking out three. Christian Zincke threw the fourth and fifth innings, surrendering two runs (one earned) on three hits with three strikeouts. Jackson Lindsey pitched a perfect sixth with two strikeouts and Rhett James followed with two strikeouts of his own in a perfect seventh.


CBC heads to Waxahachie, Texas for a three-game series with Southwestern Assemblies of God this weekend. Friday’s doubleheader commences at noon.