After throwing his bat on the ball, Nate Crown strolled down the first line thinking his deep fly ball was an out.
“I didn’t think it had the distance,” the left fielder said.
With the wind blowing out almost all of Tuesday’s game, Crown posted his first career home run in the first inning as Augusta State defeated Paine, 12-6.
Crown went 2 for 4 from the plate with a double and 5 RBI as the Jaguars (7-11) pulled away late with six runs in the final four innings. With the game tied at 6 in the sixth, Crown recorded the go-ahead RBI after getting hitting by a pitch with the bases loaded. Augusta State plated three more runs in the sixth to pull away.
“We have a bunch of guys who are very competitive. They hate to lose,” Crown said. “Our competitive nature took over.”
Augusta State, which plays at Paine at 2 p.m. today, entered with losses in seven of their previous eight games. The Jaguars pounded out 10 hits, with catcher Justin Mee going 4 for 5, while third baseman Kevin Dodson went 2 for 3 with a double and 2 RBI.
Augusta starter Trey McAvoy pitched into the sixth inning, allowing six runs, three of them earned. Tyler Ross pitched 1⅓ innings to notch his first win of the season.
Paine (5-10) opened the game with a wind-aided three-run home run by William Van Winkle. Crown responded with a three-run blast to right-center.
Augusta State added three more runs in the third to go up 6-3 before Paine responded with a run in the fifth. The Lions added two more unearned runs in the sixth to tie the game.
Chris Johnson led Paine with a 3 for 5 effort from the plate.
“The guys showed a lot of fight today. We just let it get away from us,” said Paine coach Kerby Marshall, whose team, opens conference play with a noon doubleheader Saturday against Claflin. “It’s a good tune-up for us leading into the conference opener.”