Superb pitching leads No. 3 Bearcats to record-tying win

Superb pitching leads No. 3 Bearcats to record-tying win

FLORENCE, Ala. – Lander's Dylan Wolchik flirted with a no-hitter in the first game and Taylor Alvarez tossed a complete-game shutout in the second as the No. 3-ranked Bearcats' baseball team tied a school record for wins in a season Saturday in defeating Stillman College and the University of North Alabama in a non-conference doubleheader at Mike Lane Field.

The Bearcats improve to 38-6 overall, tying the 2012 team for total wins in a season. Lander defeated Stillman, 9-4, in the first game, then blanked host North Alabama, 4-0, in the nightcap.

In the first game, Wolchik (8-1) earned the win after he narrowly missed a no-hitter when he gave up three hits in the ninth. He struck out five, walked three and allowed two earned runs in eight innings of work. Bryce Clifton struck out two in one inning of relief.

Stillman's Tyler Simmons (4-4) was tagged with the loss, striking out three, walking three and allowing seven earned runs on five hits in 2.1 innings.

The Bearcats went up 1-0 in the second inning on Chris Hyatt's solo home run, then Lander erupted for six runs in the third. Erik Lunde drove in Thomas Bess, Thomas Berry's two-RBI single plated Patrick Grady and Lunde, Connor Lewis went home on Weston Lawing's fielder's choice, and Jake Bolena sent Colby Painter and Lawing home with a run-scoring single.

Bolena scored on Grady's RBI single in the sixth to make it 8-0, then the Bearcats tallied their final run in the ninth after Lawing drove in Berry.

Stillman scored all four of its runs in the ninth on RBI singles by Nick Boggs, Brad Sevenish and Anthony Delgado, and a bases-loaded walk by Hank Parker.

Lunde went 3-for-5, while Grady, Berry and Bolena had two hits each.

In the second game, Alvarez (8-2) earned the complete-game shutout, striking out five and allowing five hits in nine innings.

North Alabama's Brantley Claunch (4-5) took the loss, striking out three, walking four and allowing three earned runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings.

Lander took a 2-0 lead in the third inning when Grady doubled in Lunde, then Grady later scored on Berry's RBI single.

The Bearcats stretched the lead to 3-0 when Painter drove in Grady, then added another run in the eighth after Grady's RBI single plated Sage Cornatzer.

Berry went 3-for-4, while Grady and Painter had two hits apiece.