FLORENCE — Snow flurried and the wind-chill temperature dipped below 30 degrees on a less than idyllic Saturday for baseball at Mike Lane Field.
UNA did its best to escape the cold as quickly as possible, needing seven innings to run-rule visiting Shorter, 10-0, for a win to open Gulf South Conference play.
The Lions (7-4, 1-0 GSC) scored two runs in the bottom of the second, five in the fourth and three in the fifth, while starting pitcher Chad Boughner allowed two hits in a complete game, bringing his season record to 2-1.
Boughner struck out two and walked one while allowing three base runners. He retired the final 17 batters he faced, including a stretch spanning the fourth, fifth and sixth innings during which Shorter (1-12, 0-1) failed to get the ball out of the infield.
The shutout runs Boughner's current streak to 18 2/3 scoreless innings pitched.
"It's a little bit of a challenge in cold weather," Boughner said. "The first thing to happen is you're going to start feeling the cold in your fingers and losing grip. But I was able to find my fast ball and locate it, and that's primarily what I was getting out to them."
The senior right-hander got plenty of run support, too.
UNA carried over its success in hitting with two-outs from Tuesday's win against Trevecca Nazarene, stringing together three of them to score twice with two outs in the second inning Saturday.
Jake Ward drew a walk and advanced on Bradley Noland's single before scoring from second base on Thomas Lundborg's single.
Eric Wilson then scored Lundborg on a double to left field.
"They not only did a great job offensively, but also defensively," Boughner said. "I only struck out two guys. They did a good job making plays behind me out there."
Ward (2-for-3) also sparked the fifth-inning surge, reaching on a bunt, stealing second base and scoring from there on a single up the middle by Noland (2-for-3).
Two straight walks loaded the bases for an RBI single by Andrew Almon. Josh Cyr followed with a two-run single through the left side and Dylan Boston lined a single up the middle to score another.
"We had some good approaches at the plate," UNA coach Mike Keehn said. "We didn't have all of our guys going, but Wilson (who also walked twice) was on base every time you turned around. Cyr and Boston knocked in runs. Almon had a big hit. And Bradley Noland and Lundborg stepped up down in the lineup. So guys were hitting at spots throughout the lineup. And we were also able to take advantage of some of their mistakes."
Shorter reliever Brodie Orr walked the bases full on three straight batters with one out in the fifth and walked in a run with two outs before Boston (2-for-4) ripped a two-run double, his ninth of the season, to the right-centerfield fence to cap the scoring.
Boston and Cyr finished with three RBIs apiece.
Russell Crosby (0-4) took the loss for Shorter, allowing seven earned runs on eight hits in the first four innings while walking four.
The series, altered due to Saturday's adverse weather, concludes with a doubleheader scheduled to start today at noon.
"It was one of my concerns how we were going to come out and let the conditions affect us or do what we needed to do," Keehn said. "I thought, for the most part, our guys stuck with our approach and did what they needed to do. The conditions will be better (today) and we'll have to be ready with two games to play. Every conference game is so important for us, especially this year."
Bryan App can be reached at 256-740-5730 or email@example.com. Follow @bappster on Twitter.