Wallace State athletics roundup: Golf season preview; baseball & women’s tennis weekend recaps

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Freshman Tempie Ennis returns a serve against Snead State over the weekend.

HANCEVILLE – Wallace State’s men’s golf team gets the 2017 spring season underway today at Eastern Florida State College’s Titan Invitational in Melbourne, Fla. The Lions are playing 36 holes today and 18 on Tuesday.

Wallace State’s men’s team is the three-time defending Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) champion and has won 13 titles overall under NJCAA Hall of Fame coach Dan York.

Sophomore Trey Hanvey is one of the key Wallace State returners from last year’s team. Additionally, during the fall season, Wallace State sophomore Garrett Senia tied as the co-low medalist in the Wallace State Invitational, and freshman Chip Willoughby was the low medalist at the Calhoun Invitational.

“We have a lot of talent on this team. We didn’t play as well as we wanted to in the fall, but I think that will help us produce better scores when it matters the most. We have a lot of guys who can lead this team. I’m interested to see how it all shakes out,” said York, whose team finished ninth in the nation last season.

Hanvey, Senia, Willoughby, Brandon Lacasse and Luke Wilson are competing in Florida for the Lions.

Also making up the men’s team this season are Brent Borden, Charley Parvin, Thomas Gevas and Braxton Lemley.

The Wallace State men play in five tournaments in Alabama this season, including the ACCC/Region 22 tournament in Scottsboro and the NJCAA District 4 championship in Brewton.

York has coached the men’s program since 1987.

Women’s golf

Wallace State’s women’s team begins the season on Feb. 26-28 in Mobile.

The Lady Lions finished 12th at the NJCAA Division I National Championship during their inaugural campaign last season, and they are eager to take a bigger step this season.

“The women are extremely excited about the spring. They came in during the summer and worked hard and want to get better each day. I believe they are going to be a lot of fun to watch this season,” York said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of women to get this program jump started with. They have a great attitude and love playing the game and representing Wallace State.”

Abbi Yeager has already signed with Blue Mountain College after her sophomore season is complete in Hanceville and fellow sophomores Madison Autwell and Ashley McCormick are close to signing four-year offers.

Dalys Mullican, Bradi Ruehl and Annalee Stephens are the freshmen on this year’s squad.

The Wallace State women are playing in Decatur on March 12-14 and hosting the NJCAA Region 22 tournament in Cullman on April 16-18.

Wallace State baseball   

Wallace State’s baseball’s pitching staff was as dominant as can be over the weekend.

Over a four-game stretch, Wallace State’s pitchers yielded only one run in 28 innings and closed the weekend with 22 consecutive scoreless innings as the Lions earned three victories.

Wallace State (3-1) opened the season on Friday, splitting a doubleheader with Motlow State. Wallace State lost the opener 2-1, but answered with a 10-0 rout in the second game.

The Lions swept Jackson State in a doubleheader on Saturday, winning both games 5-0.

“The thing I was most proud of is we walked only six batters the entire weekend and struck out 35. It’s so important to throw strikes,” said Wallace State coach Randy Putman. “It was one of the best starts I can remember our pitching staffs ever getting off to. Our bats came alive as the weekend progressed.”

Wallace State sophomore Seth McWaters opened Friday’s doubleheader and tossed four scoreless innings. He struck out three. Blake Schilleci pitched the final three innings.

In the 10-0 victory, starter Braxton Light (1-0) stymied the Bucks for four innings, punching out eight hitters and allowing only one hit. Peyton Hayes finished the game for the Lions on the mound.

In Saturday’s opener, freshman Kevin Donovan (1-0) held up his end of the bargain on the mound. He struck out nine Jackson State hitters over six innings, allowing only two hits.

Jesse Scott relieved Donovan and hurled three perfect innings.

Blake Rivera, Wallace Henry and Tanner Rusk combined on a one-hitter in the weekend finale against a team that cranked 93 homers a season ago. Rivera (1-0) got the starting nod and recorded six strikeouts, while giving up one hit in five shutout innings. Henry and Rusk each pitched a scoreless frame.

At the plate, Dalton Sinquefield finished the weekend with five hits, including four doubles, and six RBIs for Wallace State.

Kevin Bryant had four RBIs in the four-game stretch; Justin Henle finished with four hits, including a double, and two RBIs; Cole Collins had three hits and scored three runs, and Dalton Cobb finished with three hits, including a double, an RBI and scored three runs.

Freshman Palmer Ford hit Wallace State’s first homer of the season in the second game on Saturday.

Kolby Robinson and Billy Reed each had multiple hits over the weekend. Heath Haskins had a pair of RBIs in the 10-0 win over Motlow and Maison Goodwin added a run-scoring double.

Wallace State women’s tennis

Wallace State’s women’s tennis team opened the 2017 season at home Saturday, losing 7-2 to Snead State.

Wallace State’s Emily Graves and Kelsi Wilson picked up a doubles win, 8-3.

Tempie Ennis accounted for Wallace State’s win in singles play. She beat Snead State’s Olivia Sharpton 7-5, 6-4.

In doubles play, Wallace State’s Nikki Rakestraw and Ennis lost to Snead State’s Katie Beth Bole and Alesha Triplett.

Both Wallace State tennis teams host Meridian (Miss.) Community College at 11 a.m. on Friday.

For more information about Wallace State athletics, visit www.athletics.wallacestate.edu.