SU scores six in first on way to win
Van Sickler hits third home run of the series
WINCHESTER, Va. - No. 1 Shenandoah clinched its first USA South Conference regular season baseball title with an 11-3 victory against Averett.
Shenandoah (27-2, 11-1 USA South) wasted little time in jumping on the Cougars (21-17, 5-7); SU scored six runs in the first on four hits and three crucial Averett errors.
The three miscues led to five of the six runs being unearned for the Hornets.
Kurt Krout, the ninth SU player to hit in the frame, plated the final three runs with a double off the wall in left-center.
One inning later, senior All-American Greg Van Sickler hit his fourth home run of the week (and third of the weekend) with a solo shot to center.
The Hornets added four more in the sixth, highlighted by a Cory Nelson two-run HR to center, before AU scored three in the ninth to prevent the shutout.
Jordan Kidd was responsible for two of those runs thanks to a two-run HR to left center.
Patrick Moore (1-0), who came on in relief of starter Vince Claudio with two outs in the fifth, earned the win.
Moore gave up one hit and one walk in 1.1 innings before Mike Smith pitched the final three innings for his first save of the spring.
Claudio had two strikeouts and allowed two hits before tiring in the fifth. He walked four batters in the frame but helped himself out by picking one off of first immediately after catcher Keaton Neeb picked a runner off at second.
Neeb, Van Sickler, Krout and Nick Beall all had two hits each for the victors.