By SETH STRINGER
NICEVILLE – Even amid a 1-3 start, NWF State manager Doug Martin could sense this was a talented Raiders squad.
A 12-2 run later, capped by this past weekend's dominant 3-0 showing, and the pieces are starting to come together.
The Raiders outscored Sante Fe, Motlow State and East Mississippi by a combined 33-2 in three run-ruled affairs over the weekend to improve to 13-5 on the season.
Boswell (2-0) silenced Sante Fe – ranked tops in the state and 12th in the nation at 16-6 – in an 11-1 win with five strikeouts and allowed one unearned run on five hits and four walks over seven innings. The sophomore righthander has a 1.25 ERA, .97 WHIP and 19 strikeouts over 21 2/3 innings with complete games in both starts.
In the 11-0 victory over Motlow State, Jacob Kelchner (4-0) struck out six and allowed just four hits over five shutout innings. The freshman southpaw has a 3.54 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 22 strikeouts in 20 1/3 innings.
In the 11-1 win over East Mississippi State, Angel (2-1) struck out nine and allowed just one run on two walks and a hit. The sophomore righthander has a 2.08 ERA, .92 WHIP and 18 strikeouts over 17 1/3 innings.
As was the case with each starter, the run support over the weekend was overwhelming.
Over the three-game home stretch, the Raiders went a combined 37-for-79 (.468) with 33 runs scored, 13 extra-base hits, nine walks and just 10 strikeouts.
Five of those extra-base hits went to Brock Franks, who went a combined 5-for-8 with seven RBIs, two runs, four doubles and a triple to raise his batting average to .298 and OPS to .886. The freshman now leads the team with 15 RBIs.
Will Moriarty added two homers in a 6-for-9 effort that produced seven RBIs and four runs. The freshman is hitting .364 with a team-best three homers and 1.249 OPS to accent 13 RBIs.
Noah Bailey continued his torrid hitting with a 4-for-7 effort with five RBIs and is now 10-21 on the season with a team-best .607 on-base percentage. Jake Randa, who last week was the NJCAA Player of the Week and is hitting .459, went 5-for-10 with four runs.
Sure to rise from No. 7 in this week's Region 8 rankings, the Raiders host Coastal Alabama-East tomorrow at 3 p.m.