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Another Sunday Sweep

April 13, 2015

By CHRIS PRIDE – Bulletin Sports Writer

Back-to-back fourth-inning triples Sunday by Nic Keister and Daymon Totherow symbolized perfectly Patrick Henry Community College baseball team’s weekend against Region X foe Lenoir Community College, as the Patriots took a 10-0 shutout win from the Lancers at Hooker Field.

An inning after their triples, Totherow drove in Keister with a single to right, completing the three-game sweep just like the series began Saturday: by mercy rule in five innings. The duo, and top two hitters in the Patriots’ lineup combined to go 5-for-6 at the plate with five runs scored and two RBIs.It was the second game of the series that PHCC ended in five innings. The team finished the series scoring 34 runs and belting out 33 hits. Even more impressive, those totals came over 16 innings of a scheduled 25.“Weekends like this get you excited for other games,” Keister said. “It’s a nice win to have when you’re hitting the ball… That’s the difference. If you have a series like this you’ll go into the next series confident.”The Patriots (29-9) extended their winning streak to nine games with the win. Head coach Lucas Jones said he hopes the offensive outburst will carry over to the week ahead. PHCC has doubleheaders Tuesday and Wednesday against Ferrum and Averett before a big Region X road series at Brunswick.Jones said the consecutive triples in the fourth inning completely deflated Lenoir’s Sunday demeanor, something that started with more life than Saturday’s twin bill. Totherow had three extra-base hits Sunday, and six for the weekend to keep his batting average climbing to .474 on the season. Keister had five hits as the duo at the top of the lineup continues to be a menace.“I think when the rest of the guys see how hard (Totherow) and (Keister) play day in and day out, they’re also relentless and keep going and going,” Jones said. “These guys never stop and take a play off, good or bad.”That enthusiasm was seen best in No. 4 hitter Stibel Aleman Saba’s weekend. He was the only PHCC starter to not record a hit for the series. However, he still managed to have four RBIs in 11 plate appearances.While the offensive numbers were impressive, the pitching and defense made a tremendous impact in helping end the two 9-inning games early. The Patriots committed just one error and limited the Lancers to under a hit per inning. Anthony Zona pitched five shutout innings Sunday to earn the win, needing only 53 pitches to do so. Zona got 11 of his 15 outs via ground ball.“On defense, you control what you do with the ball, and have control over your pitching staff. That exudes itself where if we can defend behind it we’ll have less pitches per inning,” Jones said. “All those things are interchangeable and to have the pitching and the defense that can gnaw teams it can be very frustrating.”PHCC will host Averett for a two 7-inning doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. at Hooker Field Tuesday. The final home games of the season will be April 25-26 against New River.

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