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Pride Wins 2020 Opener 3-1 Over Vipers

Pride Wins 2020 Opener 3-1 Over Vipers

The 2020 edition of the Piedmont Pride opened the season in style with a 3-1 victory over the Carolina Vipers at Truist Field. After having their first two scheduled games rained out, the Pride fashioned timely hitting with great pitching to down the Vipers.

Dawson Gause earned the victory for the Pride, throwing 3 2/3 shutout innings, striking out 6 and allowing only 3 hits. Willie Lumpkin came on in the bottom of the 4th with the bases loaded and 2 outs, and struck out the Viper hitter to get out of the inning. After excellent relief performances by Kaleb Gibson, Conor Miller, and Adam Koelsch, Jonathan Tyler retired the side in the 9th for the save.

Head Coach Joe Hudak was impressed by his hurlers. "In summer ball, it's like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. I thought all 6 of our guys threw very well tonight against a good Viper team. None of these guys has pitched competitively since March, some longer."

On the offensive side, the Pride jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning. They used some great situational hitting to score the two runs. Sam Blancato led off with a walk, and advanced to third on a perfect run and hit single by Ben Wetenhall. After Wetenhall went to second on a wild pitch, Devin Buckner and Jeff Taylor each drove in a run with sacrifice flies. The Pride finished their scoring in the fourth inning courtesy of an RBI single off the bat of Scottie Lee. Lee led the Pride with a single, triple, and an RBI.

Hudak was excited for his players. "It was just great for them to be on the baseball field again, and get a little bit of normalcy back in their lives. We are so grateful to Dan Rajkowski and Rob Egan of the Charlotte Knights for allowing us to play in the nicest minor league park in the country".

The Pride travels to Mt. Holly, North Carolina tomorrow for a 6:30 game against the Carolina Venom, then will be back home at Truist Field on Monday for a noon encounter with the Lake Norman Copperheads.