The Panthers used a four-run fourth-inning to back the solid relief pitching of Makai Holloway as Claflin University defeated Salem University, 8-1, on Saturday at Mirmow Field.
The win gave Claflin, now 4-2 on the season, the series win. The Panthers will look to complete the sweep on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Mirmow Field.
Claflin jumped on the scoreboard early with run-scoring singles from both Eric McElveen and Gerardric “Rod” Dobbs in the first inning, to put the Panthers ahead 2-0.
The contest remained that way until the fourth inning.
In the top of the fourth, Salem missed a golden opportunity to score with the bases loaded off Panther starter Jamal Devine. Claflin Coach James Randall elected to pull Devine in favor of Makai Holloway.
Holloway retired the next three Salem batters, ending the Tigers rally.
The Panthers provided Holloway some breathing room in their half of the fourth as Jalen Sprull, Edzaviah Paul, Craig Hopkins and McElveen produced RBI singles to give Claflin a commanding 6-0 lead.
Claflin added two more runs in the sixth on RBIs from Nicholas Johnson and Dobbs.
Salem's lone run of the game came in the ninth when Lenivy Parker doubled in Tyler Ault from second base.
Walker Dodero and Jimmy Cramer had two hits each for Salem.
McElveen and Dobbs led the Panthers at the plate, going 3-for-5 and 3-for-4, respectively with 2RBIs each, while Paul was 3-for-4 with an RBI. All three crossed the plate once on the day.
Sprull was the only Panther player with multiple runs, two.
Holloway allowed Salem batters just five hits over the final six innings with one walk and three strike outs.
James Wiseman took the loss for Salem, now 0-5 on the season.