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Claflin baseball

Senior baseball players pose with Athletic Director Dr. Jerome Fitch, left, and Claflin University President Dr. Henry N. Tisdale, right.

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.


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