Armstrong Atlantic St. takes opener
Taylor smacks three-run homer as Pirates top Winston-Salem St.
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Junior outfielder Zach Taylor's three-run home run capped a six-run fourth inning to give 25th-ranked Armstrong Atlantic State a season-opening 6-4 win against Winston-Salem State on Friday afternoon at Pirate Field.
Winston-Salem State (0-1) struck first with a three-run third inning that began with a dropped fly ball by the Pirates' Casey Maloney. Michael Robbins drove in a run with a single, then Travis Moore hit an RBI double and Paco Martin followed with an RBI single for the Rams.
Armstrong (1-0) answered in the bottom of the fourth with a one-out rally. A walk to Alex Frederick and an RBI double down the right field line by Clayton Miller brought home the first run. After a walk and a squeeze bunt RBI by Cody Powell that closed the gap to one run, Winston-Salem State right fielder German Reyes dropped a fly ball off the bat of Mike Barnhill that scored Chris Zittrouer to tie the game. Two batters later, Taylor launched a three-run shot to deep right field that put Armstrong in front 6-3.
The Rams got a run back in the top of the eighth on a two-out RBI single by Aaron Jones, but Chandler Hall worked a scoreless ninth to preserve the win.
Ethan Bader (1-0) worked eight innings of eight-hit ball, giving up four runs -- three earned -- and striking out five for his first win as a Pirate. Hall notched his first save of the season with the one inning of scoreless ball.
Charles Anthony (0-1) took the loss for Winston-Salem State, giving up six hits and six runs -- one earned -- in four innings of work, walking four and striking out one.
Taylor finished the game 3-for-4 with three RBIs to lead the Pirates offensively, while Frederick finished the game with two hits. Jones led the Rams with a 3-for-4 day.