The Florence-Darlington Technical College Stingers swept USC-Union at Old Cormell Field on Saturday, February 3 to open up the 2018 baseball season.
Prior to the first pitch being thrown, the 2017 JUCO World Series team received their Eastern District Championship rings. Trent Autry, who was one of the Tech Stingers’ starting pitchers last season, appeared on the mound to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Autry now plays in the MiLB for the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.
The Stingers won 4-0 in the first game of the doubleheader. Starting pitcher Tanner Myatt earned the win after he pitched the first three innings. While on the mound, Myatt did not allow a hit or run as he struck out six batters. Blake Whiting earned the save as he struck out four batters in two innings pitched.
Reid Hardwick was 3-4 with a homerun and three runs batted in. Harrison Hawkins was also 2-2 in the first game on Saturday.
Game two of the doubleheader saw a complete dominant performance by the Stingers as they won 10-1. Tradd James earned the victory on the mound as he pitched the first three innings. James only allowed one hit and a run; however, he struck out two batters.
Cross Holfert led the team in batting in the second game as he hit two home runs, with five runs batted in. Once again, Hawkins kept swinging a hot bat as he was 2-3 with two runs batted in. Ed’zaviah Paul also had two runs batted in as well.
“It was a great crowd, exciting atmosphere for opening day and our World Series ring ceremony,” said head baseball coach, Preston McDonald. “We made some mistakes and didn’t play our best baseball, but you don’t expect to in early February. We played 14 different position players and threw nine different pitchers which was our goal for the day. We’ll have a big challenge this week in Florida. Hopefully this will give us some confidence as we head down there.”
The Stingers baseball team will head to Palatka, Florida to compete in the Capital City Bank Classic, Thursday through Sunday, February 9-11, 2018. The next home game will be played on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 4 p.m. at Old Cormell Field as the Stingers host Southeastern Community College.