Baseball season underway for NWSCC Patriots

The Northwest Shoals Community College Patriots are off to a winning baseball season start.

NWSCC is 21-12 this year under the leadership of head coach David Langston. The Patriots won six consecutive games during a stretch from March 16-24 and during that time defeated Coastal Alabama-South, Bevill State-Fayette and Gadsden State. The wins over Coastal Alabama and Gadsden State were within the conference, and NWSCC swept Gadsden State in a four-game series.

Northwest Shoals hosted conference opponent Southern Union State at Patriot Park March 30. The Patriots got a 5-4 walk-off win when former Russellville High School Golden Tiger Nick Smith hit a sacrifice fly to the outfield, scoring BenMichael Bennett to end game one of the double-header and start a celebration.

The Patriots jumped out to a 3-0 lead but the Bison scored twice in the top of the fifth before NWSCC added a run in the bottom of the inning. Southern Union scored two more runs in the sixth to even the score but Smith’s RBI finished the game in the seventh.

Northwest Shoals got three hits, including a double, and three RBI from Cade Prestegard. Wyatt Jensen added two hits while Eli Gipson, Ryan Strachan, Drew McBurnett, Eli Tidwell and Bryant Hyde also hit safely. Gipson had the other RBI.

Zach Hill got the start on the mound for the Patriots. He went 5.2 innings, allowing four runs, with three being of the earned variety. Hill struck out four and walked a batter. JT McArdle got the win in relief. The right-hander allowed one hit and struck out one.

Southern Union State took game two of the day by a 15-10 final score. Nick Smith homered and collected two RBI. Prestegard and McBurnett also had two RBI while Gipson and Jensen added one apiece. Caleb Davis, Prestegard and McBurnett had two hits each. Cooper Cochran, Cam Habada, Ethan Muncher, Ray Anderson and Ryan Strachan all pitched for NWSCC.