Jags throttle Lions

AUGUSTA STATE 21, PAINE 2

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When he played last season at Armstrong Atlantic State, shortstop Jake Sutton batted at the bottom of the order.

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COREY PERRINE/STAFF

Augusta State's Caleb Saggus slides into second base as an errant throw sails over the head of Paine College's Michael Thames during the Jaguars' 21-2 victory over the Lions on Wednesday.  Corey Perrine/Staff
Corey Perrine/Staff
COREY PERRINE/STAFF Augusta State's Caleb Saggus slides into second base as an errant throw sails over the head of Paine College's Michael Thames during the Jaguars' 21-2 victory over the Lions on Wednesday.

When Sutton transferred to Augusta State, coach Chris Cooper decided to move his sophomore up to the No. 2 position. The move's paid off.

"Just go up there and take what they give you," Sutton said of his new approach at the plate. "Getting on base is the main thing."

Sutton reached four times Wednesday afternoon to help set the table in the Jaguars' 21-2 win over Paine College.

Augusta State snapped a five-game skid, improving to 3-6 on the season.

"Winning cures all, hopefully," Cooper said. "We're young. We're still learning how to win the right way."

Sutton, who leads the team with a .409 average, went 0 for 1 but collected four walks. Center fielder Menelik Vereen went 3 for 5 with a triple, homer and seven RBI. Designated hitter Brac Barton went 4 for 4 with a walk and five runs scored.

Curtis Parker, who also hit a home run, had three hits. Caleb Saggus went 2 for 4.

Augusta State's batters entered with a Peach Belt Conference-worst .212 average. Against Paine, the Jaguars pounded out 16 hits and blew the game open with 14 runs in the sixth and seventh innings.

"It was awesome," Augusta State starting pitcher Kevin Dodson said. "We've been wanting the bats to come alive."

One of the numbers Cooper was happiest to see: one. After committing 22 errors the first eight games, the Jaguars made just one mistake in the field.

"That's been one thing that's really killed us," Cooper said. "I'm proud of that number today."

After winning its first game of the season, Paine dropped its third in a row. The Lions, who feature five freshmen pitchers among their eight hurlers, allowed 10 or more runs to their third consecutive opponent.

"The freshmen just have to get tougher," Paine coach Pete Cardenas said. "As the season goes, we'll be a much better team. I'm not panicking."

Jeffrey Brown recorded two singles in a 2 for 4 effort to lead the Lions. No other player had two hits for Paine.


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