Armstrong's Roberts sets DII wins mark
Sweep of UNC-Pembroke gives 34-year veteran 1,310th victory
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Armstrong Atlantic State head coach Joe Roberts became NCAA Division II's all-time winningest head baseball coach with the Pirates' Peach Belt Conference doubleheader sweep of 10th-ranked UNC-Pembroke on Sunday. The Pirates won game one 13-8 and took game two 6-4 to sweep the weekend series.
The first win of the doubleheader was the NCAA-recognized 1,309th career coaching victory for Roberts, moving him ahead of Valdosta State's Tommy Thomas, who accumulated a 1,308-825 record in 40 seasons at Valdosta State. With the second win, Roberts is now 1,310-635 -- with six ties -- at Armstrong in 34 seasons.
On Saturday, in the first game of the series, Armstrong won its 1,500th game in program history.
Armstrong will honor Roberts in a pregame ceremony on April 28, prior to the Pirates' game against Lander. All former Armstrong players are invited back to Savannah and Pirate Field to join the university in honoring Roberts and the baseball program on its accomplishments.
The record-breaking win in game one of the doubleheader saw the Pirates score in each of the first six innings, including a three-run first inning and a five-run third inning, keyed by RBI singles by R.J. Dennard, Will Thomas and Casey Maloney.
In all, the Pirates rapped out 16 hits in the win, including a 4-for-5 day by Chris Fritts and two-hit games from Maloney, Chase Butler, Dennard and Will Thomas.
Ethan Bader (6-0) picked up the win by going 5 2/3 innings, yielding 12 hits and seven runs, walking five while striking out two. Caleb Woods hurled 3 1/3 innings of four-hit, one-run ball, striking out one for the save.
Jordan DeLoatch (4-2) took the loss in game one for the Braves, giving up eight hits and nine runs -- five earned -- in 2 1/3 innings of work, walking one while striking out one.
Max Gagnon led the Braves offensively in game one by going 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBIs.
In game two, Armstrong senior Chris Base kept the Braves scoreless into the eighth inning as the Pirates built a 6-0 lead. A squeeze bunt RBI by Dalton Johnson scored the first run for the Pirates in the third inning, then Butler launched a two-run home run in the fourth inning. Chris Zittrouer blasted a three-run home run in the eighth inning.
UNC-Pembroke rallied in the eighth to close the gap to two. After getting the first out of the inning, Base gave up a three-run home run to Jordan Edgerton to make the score 6-3. A sacrifice fly later in the inning cut the lead to 6-4, but reliever Woods struck out Drew Cole to end the eighth, then a hitless ninth closed out the Braves.
Base (4-3) finished the game with 7 1/3 innings of eight-hit ball, giving up four runs -- two earned -- while walking two and striking out five. Woods pitched 1 2/3 innings of hitless relief, striking out two for his third save of the season and second save of the day.
Dale Innes (6-2) took the loss for UNC-Pembroke, giving up five hits and three runs -- one earned -- in five innings of work, walking nine while striking out three.
Butler went 3-for-4 with two RBIs in game two for the Pirates, while Zittrouer went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and Clayton Miller went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
|1995-96||Armstrong||31-23-0||Games through April 21, 2013|
* — Does not include forfeits vs. Marycrest and GC&SU
** — Does not include forfeits vs. Benedict and Paine (2)
# — Does not include forfeit vs. St. Augustine’s
## — Does not include forfeit vs. Virginia State