Ashland, Va. – St. Mary's College of Maryland opened up the 41st season of Seahawk baseball with a twin bill split at Randolph-Macon College in non-conference action Saturday afternoon. The Seahawks notched a 9-8 triumph in the opener before dropping a 6-1 decision in the nightcap.
St. Mary's (1-1) season-opening victory is the first in three years. Senior RHP Matt Becraft (Clarksville, Md./River Hill) recorded his second career victory as Becraft (1-0) threw two innings of relief while senior RHP Mikel Iraola (Kensington, Md./DeMatha) picked up his second career save, pitching a one-inning no-hitter with one strikeout.
Along with the team's solid pitching, the Seahawks received an offensive outburst in the sixth inning with five runs on four hits to edge Randolph-Macon, 7-6. The highlight of the sixth was sophomore centerfielder John Stewart's (Annapolis, Md./St. Mary's, Annapolis) two-out triple to score senior right fielder Bobby Corton (Owings Mills, Md./Calvert Hall) and sophomore pinch runner Mike Schmidt (Burtonsville, Md./Blake).
The Yellow Jackets (1-1) tied up the score in the seventh to force extra innings as R-MC started the inning with back-to-back doubles, including senior catcher Jay Lichter's (Richmond, Va./Varina) double down the right field line to score junior first baseman Jordan Walton (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis).
Junior third baseman Keith Johnson (Great Mills, Md./Great Mills) helped the Seahawks reclaim the lead in the ninth as Johnson hit a single up the middle to bring home Stewart, who led off with a walk, and sophomore Corey Napier (Leonardtown, Md./St. Mary's Ryken).
After R-MC scored on a sac fly to right field, Iraola was able to get the Yellow Jackets to fly out to centerfield and closed out the game with a strikeout.
In the nightcap, Randolph-Macon opened up with two runs in the second inning before the Seahawks trimmed the lead to 2-1 in the fourth. Napier led off with a double to left center then advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on an R-MC error. St. Mary's would get no closer as the Yellow Jackets tallied two runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth.
Sophomore RHP Carlos Cruz (Lexington Park, Md./Great Mills) suffered the loss, giving up four runs (two earned) on seven hits in 4.2 innings of work.
For the day offensively, Stewart paced the Seahawks with a four-of-eight effort on three RBI, one triple and one run scored. Corton and Napier each had three hits while Corton drove in two runs.
The Seahawks will remain on the road in Virginia as St. Mary's travels to Newport News to take on Christopher Newport University on Wednesday, February 16 at 2:00 pm.