27 Jan

and so it begins

If Belhaven coach Hill Denson really is worried about whether his team can score enough to be successful this season, his fears seemed unfounded in today’s season opener at Smith-Wills Stadium. The Blazers, ranked 15th in the preseason NAIA poll, whipped Blue Mountain 4-0 before an announced crowd of 300 on a sun-splashed, made-for-baseball day. BU got eight hits, including a home run by Jason Hicks, RBI doubles by Anthony Doss and Jamie Bruno and an RBI single from Bud Britt. Ryan Saunders added a pair of singles. Hicks, a transfer from NCAA Division I Louisiana-Monroe, was making his Blazers debut, as were Bruno (an LSU transfer) and Britt (an All-State selection at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in 2011). Doss, a former Southern Miss player, and Saunders, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound Canadian, are two of the top returning position players from a team that notched a school-record 45 wins last year, won the Southern States Athletic Conference Tournament and played in the NAIA national tourney. Of course, pitching is expected to be the real strength of this edition of Blazers. In that department, Denson has no worries. Geoffrey Thomas, one of three USM transfers added to an already deep pitching staff, made his BU debut today and threw six innings of one-hit ball. Matt Shaw, another ex-Golden Eagles hurler, worked two scoreless innings. The Blazers did make an error in the field, so they weren’t quite perfect. But they showed they could hit. And pitch. Rest assured, there will be many more days like this for Denson’s club.

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