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Patriots gear up for home-and-home 4-game series with Louisburg College

February 19, 2016

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Looking at more favorable baseball weather to open its home schedule Saturday (Feb. 20), the No. 11 NJCAA, Division II Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) baseball team meets up with Region X, Division I Louisburg College (N.C.) this weekend for a four-game, home-and-home doubleheader series.

The first doubleheader is set for 1 p.m. at Hooker Field in Martinsville while the conclusion of the series will take place in north-central North Carolina on Sunday (Feb. 21). The Patriots lost three games last week of a similar four-game doubleheader series at USC-Lancaster. PHCC and Louisburg split a pair of games last season, each winning at home.

The Hurricanes are coming off an 11-6 loss to Wake Tech Feb. 17 to open their season.

Starting pitching looks to get back on track for the Patriots this weekend. Sophomore Anthony Zona (Mechanicsville, Va.) was the lone starter in last week’s season-opening series that had a quality start. That start, however, still yielded four runs and five hits over five innings, with three strikeouts and three walks. Sophomore No. 1 and No. 2 starters Jack Maynard (Crozet, Va.) and Yashuan Santiago (Puerto Rico) combined for 12 runs allowed on 17 hits over eight total innings.

First-year Patriots coach Frank Jagoda said coming out of last week’s opener his team needs to compete and be more sound in all phases of the game. He looks to the starting pitching this weekend to set the tone and allow the bats to continue what they started in hitting .367 and five home runs in the opening four games.

“Obviously having an opportunity to compete at home is exciting,” Jagoda said. “Nothing is more special than a home opener. Louisburg is very similar to us, they’re athletic and look to utilize that as one of their strengths. We had an opportunity to play them in the fall and it was a good series.”

PHCC totalled 44 hits over four games in South Carolina as 15 went for extra bases. Sophomore Kelvin Marte (Richmond, Va.) went 4-for-6 with two homers and six RBI in two games. Freshman Cody Powers (Mechanicsville, Va.) was the top hitter of the opening series, going 8-for-15 with three doubles and five RBI.

Sophomore Jonah McReynolds (Martinsville, Va.) scored four runs and drove in four while hitting .500 (6-for-12) last weekend. Freshman Brandon Nania (Murrysville, Pa.), sophomore Rashad Stewart (Dinwiddie, Va.) and sophomore Jose Castro (Richmond, Va.) also finished with better than .333 batting averages for those who played in all four games last week.

Louisburg’s top hitter in its loss to Wake Tech was sophomore Jordan Sergent who went 3-for-4 with three RBI. The Hurricanes, however, were strikeout prone, fanning 12 times in 32 at bats.

Defensively, the Patriots also hope to clean up their play as they committed 11 errors on 58 putouts in the series loss to USC-Lancaster.

PHCC plays its first midweek series Feb. 24 when it hosts NCAA, Division III Ferrum College in a doubleheader at Hooker Field.

Filed under: Baseball

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