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Williams' game-winning single in ninth helps Wallace State baseball edge Calhoun in series opener, Croft tosses three-hitter in nightcap
 March 15, 2013

HANCEVILLE – Wallace State sophomore Sawyer Williams delivered a two-out, game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth against Calhoun on Thursday afternoon, lifting the Lions to a come-from-behind 2-1 victory at James C. Bailey Stadium.

Williams, a Cullman graduate, fought off two tough pitches with two strikes before punching a single in between the first and second baseman, scoring Jeremiah Tullidge and snapping a three-game losing streak for Wallace State.

“I was just looking for a pitch I could drive and got one I could handle,” Williams said. “This was a big win for us. We didn’t want to waste the effort we got on the mound from Bret Marks and Robby Clements. We’ve started off a little slow in conference play, but we’ve just got to keep grinding. We know what we’re capable of.”

Wallace State right-hander Jacob Croft completed Thursday’s sweep by tossing a three-hitter in seven innings, leading the Lions to a 1-0 victory. Croft, a sophomore, struck out 13 of the 21 batters he faced and yielded only baserunner after the third. 

Wallace State coach Randy Putman made a few defensive changes at the outset of the day, and the Lions delivered with a pair of errorless games.

“Those were two good wins, considering the adjustments we made seemed to work out. We’re working hard to get some stability on defense,” said Putman, whose team was ACCC state runner-up last season. “Sawyer Williams came up with a big hit in the ninth and Marks and Clements threw the ball well in the first game. Croft followed a dominant outing.”

In the opener, Marks started for the Lions and went seven strong innings, allowing one run on four hits. He walked three and struck out two.

Clements (1-0) picked up the win in relief, recording one strikeout in two perfect innings. 

Calhoun grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the seventh on Trey Nelson’s infield RBI single.

Wallace State (12-10, 5-5 ACCC) answered with single runs in the eighth and ninth innings. In the eighth, Joe Klepac led off with a single, stole second and scored on Frank Alacantara’s RBI single.

The Lions put together three hits in the ninth. Tullidge singled with one out, moved to third on a two-out single by Andrew Dennis and scored the game-winner on Williams’ single.

Williams had the only multi hit game for either team.

Jake Nelson was the tough-luck loser for Calhoun. He went the distance and allowed two runs on eight hits, striking out three and walking four.

In the second game, Wallace State scored the lone run of the game in the third. Colt Buttram led off the inning with a single and eventually scored on a Tullidge sacrifice fly.

The teams resume the four-game series Saturday at Calhoun.

For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit wallacestate.edu.

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