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Third-inning rally blasts Firebirds by Spartans

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SMITHFIELD — Five runs in the third inning set up Southern Nash to win the varsity baseball season opener against Smithfield-Selma last Wednesday as the Firebirds would go on to win 9-2.

The rally was sparked by senior Jason Montague’s solo home run. Montague would finish the night 1 for 4 with three RBIs. The Firebirds got nine runs on nine hits, including a 2-for-3 night by Matthew Horrigan who also added in a run batted in.

“It was a good win, a good way to open the season,” Southern Nash head coach Todd Brewer said. “Lot of energy, kept it together. Some good at bats and some good innings.”

On the mound, senior Jonathan Stallings only allowed one hit, one walk and one run while striking out five in 5 1/3 innings of work. Sophomore Trey Mizzelle put in 1 1/3 innings of work and struck out four while allowing two hits, a walk and a run.

Junior Cannon Gardner took the loss for the Spartans (0-1) after pitching 2 2/3 innings and allowing six runs. The Spartans put together just three hits. Freshman Dawlton Lee was the top hitter with one hit in three at-bats for a RBI.

“Overall, I was really proud of the guys’ efforts today,” SSS head coach Gabe Brown said. “There was a few things we have to clean up. A young core group, I started four freshmen today so it’s a lot of growing room for them and as a team.”

The Spartans have a game at county rival North Johnston on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

Score by innings:

Southern Nash 0 1 5 0 2 0 1 — 9

Smithfield-Selma 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 — 2

WP-Jonathan Stallings (1-0). LP-Cannon Gardner (0-1).

LEADING HITTERS — Southern Nash: Tanner Baker 2-4, R; Matthew Horrigan 2-3, RBI, R; Jason Montague 1-4, HR, 3 RBIs; Jonathan Stallings 1-4, 2B, RBI. Smithfield-Selma: Dawlton Lee 1-3, RBI; Allen Brown 1-4, 2B, R; Gerson Iras 1-3.