The Claflin University baseball team, behind the strong pitching performances of Dillon Parker and Cleveland Westbrook, claimed a 2-1 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference East Division series win over Clark Atlanta this past weekend at Mirmow Field.
After losing the series opener (13-10) on Friday, Claflin swept the doubleheader on Saturday by scores of 3-1 and 7-3.
The wins lifted the Panthers' season record to 13-25 overall and 9-4 in the conference, while Clark Atlanta fell to 11-22 and 4-12.
In the doubleheader opener, Dillon Parker, 4-3, pitched a five-hitter in going the distance and fanning 11 Clark Atlanta batters. Dillon Parker lost his shutout in the seventh inning when Shahir Gates hit a solo home run for Clark Atlanta.
The 11-strikeout outing was a season-high for Parker, whose previous high was seven against The College of Saint Rose March 4 in Orangeburg. Parker has recorded 59 strikeouts in 66 innings of work.
Anthony Nettles, 5-5, took the loss for Clark Atlanta. He allowed the Panthers just two hits, with the biggest blow being a home run by Clyde Parker in a two-run second inning by Claflin.
Grayland Fowler had the other hit for the Panthers with an RBI, while Craig Hopkins produced a run on a ground out.
In the second game, Westbrook gave up three runs in the first inning but held Clark Atlanta in check the rest of the way. Westbrook, 6-1 on the season, allowed Clark Atlanta just one hit over the final six innings.
He finished the game with nine strikeouts, giving him a team-high 71 for the season in 58.2 innings.
The Panthers scored two runs in the third inning off a run-scoring single by Jalen Sprull and an RBI sacrifice fly by Clyde Parker, cutting the Clark Atlanta lead to 3-2.
In the fourth, Claflin scored three times as the result of Hopkins’ bases-loaded walk followed by a two-run single off the bat of Parker, giving the Panthers a 5-3 lead.
Johnathan Parnell II added some insurance runs in the fifth inning with a two-run homer, his sixth of the season.
Jordan Johnson, 2-6, was the losing pitcher for Clark Atlanta.
Gates and Johnson led Clark Atlanta with a hit and an RBI each.
In the series opener, Clark Atlanta broke a 7-7 tie after five innings by scoring six runs in the last four innings for a 13-10 victory.
The Panthers were led by Parnell II at 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs, followed by Hopkins, who added a home run and two RBIs. Fowler had two RBIs for Claflin, while Langston contributed three hits and Sprull was 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Calvin Butler was the top hitter for Clark Atlanta at 2-for-4 with a grand slam.
Gates, 3-4, was the winning pitcher for Clark Atlanta, while Eric Dubose, 1-5, suffered the loss for the Panthers.
Claflin will return to action Wednesday for a midweek contest against Francis Marion University at Mirmow Field. First pitch is 6 p.m.