Darton's Joe Sakulpolphaisan, the No. 1-ranked golfer in NJCAA Division I, is the overall leader at the Goose Pond Spring Fling after one round following his 4-under on Thursday.
SCOTTSBORO, Ala. — Darton was nearly flawless in Thursday’s opening round of the 11th annual Goose Pond Spring Fling.
It was the type of day Darton coach Bill Jones III had been waiting for, the type of day you can use to jump start a season.
Four Cavs finished under par and the team shot a 12-under 276 to take a four-shot lead in the three-day tournament. It tied the lowest score ever shot by a Darton team — equaling last year’s 276 in the final round of the NJCAA Division I District Championship — and it put the Cavs four shots ahead of nationally-ranked No. 1 Meridian Community College.
“We were ready,” said Jones, whose Cavs are ranked No. 4 in the NJCAA poll. “This is the first time we have seen Meridian this semester, so a lot of it was us really wanting to beat them. We have been playing really well lately, but we just haven’t gotten them all to play well on the same day. We knew it would happen.”
Leading the Cavs on their record-setting day was sophomore Joe Sakulpolphaisan, who shot a 4-under 68 and is one shot off the lead. Sakulpolphaisan is playing in his first tournament since ascending to the No. 1 spot in the NJCAA rankings, and the Thailand native looked every bit as good as his ranking Thursday morning.
“He has been playing well for a long time,” Jones said. “He feels like he can go out there every time and shoot under par. He hit every green in regulation (Thursday) and was a couple of putts away from going really low.”
Robert Robertson and Austin McNeill both shot 3-under 69s, and Shad Tuten shot a 2-under 70. Chase Jones played as the No. 3 golfer for Darton and shot an even par 72, but his score was thrown out.
“That’s incredible,” Jones said. “That’s probably the first time we’ve ever thrown out an even par.”
Andrew College also played in the tournament but didn’t have enough players to field a complete team. Linus Manntz and Patrik Holm, both natives of Sweeden, led the Tigers with a pair of 82s, while Ryan Woodyard shot an 84.
The Cavs tee off at 1:50 p.m. today in the second round of the tournament, which is made up of 20 teams and 111 players, making it the largest junior college golf tournament in the nation.
DARTON BASEBALL SWEEPS: Darton reached deep into its pitching rotation Thursday and pulled out a pair of non-conference wins against Glen Oaks (Mich.) Community College.
Pitchers Ethan Glass and Luis Florentino got the wins for the Cavs, who have won six in a row and are now 18-7 overall.
Glass (3-0) relieved starter Nate Harris in the opener and got help from pitchers Andrew Crumbley and Shawn Thomas to give Darton the 6-3 victory.
Kevin Manos was 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI, and Tripp Calhoun was 2-for-4 with two RBI.
In the nightcap, Florentino threw three innings, allowed two hits and got his first win of the season, and the committee of pitchers Steven Williams, Jordan Villhauer, A.J. Sunstrom and Tyler Oglesby came off the bench to help shut out Glen Oaks, 6-0.
Manos was 2-for-3 with a run, an RBI and three stolen bases, and Russell Melton was 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run.
The Cavs play again Saturday at Swainsboro in a doubleheader against Region XVII foe East Georgia before wrapping up their series with a single game Sunday.
ASU TRACK & FIELD HONORED BY CONFERENCE:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Competing against several Division I and II schools in last week’s meet at Florida A&M University, the Albany State men’s and women’s track & field teams came home with several first-place finishes.
ASU freshman Tabareyon Jones took first place in the 400-meter dash with a time of 48.04, while freshman teammate Timothy Jackson cleared 4.25 meters to finish first in the pole vault.
On the women’s side, freshman thrower CreeAnn Perkins took top honors in the shot put to record her second first-place finish in her first season as a Lady Ram. Perkins posted a mark of 12.75 meters in the shot put, and finished third in the discus throw with a distance of 39.12 meters. Brittany Carter also had a good day for ASU, finishing first in the 800 run with a time of 2:17.70 and second in the 1,500 run with a time of 5:10.40.
Perkins, Carter and teammates Shabreka Carter and Irrion Conaler were recently selected as the conference’s track & field athletes of the week for their performances in the FAMU relays.
In the discus throw, Shabreka Carter finished second with a mark of 40.00 meters, while Conaler posted the best time in the conference after finishing third in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:05.95.
Other Top 5 finishers for the Lady Rams were Ambrosha Austin (fourth in the 400 hurdles), Briana Bowles (third in the pole vault) and Chelsea Johnson (fourth in the triple jump).
The only other Ram to finish in the Top 5 was Jordan Thompson (second in the 400 hurdles and third in the 110 hurdles).