Fort Mill Times

Thunder reigns over competition to start season

Former Northwestern player Jamie Holler dashes back to first base during the home opener for the Carolina Thunder.
Former Northwestern player Jamie Holler dashes back to first base during the home opener for the Carolina Thunder.

The Carolina Thunder has bolted to a perfect start to the season.

The Thunder, formally known as the Carolina Sox, started the season 4-0 after sweeping a doubleheader last Friday from the Asheville Redbirds.

Carolina won 9-4 in the first game and then 7-1 in the second. Led by some hot bats, the Thunder scattered 23 hits in the two games and was led by Gannon College junior Jonathan Dziomba from New York in the first game and Winthrop University freshman Brandon Sills in the second game.

Dziomba went 3-3 in the first game with an RBI and two runs scored as Carolina scored two runs in the first inning and never looked back. On the mound was Valparaiso University senior John Smelton, who went 3 2/3 innings in game one and allowed just two runs on four hits.

Carolina blew the first game open in the fourth inning scoring four runs and added three more in the sixth inning as returning Thunder player Dan Novak laced a bases-clearing triple that scored three runs.

In the second game, Sills led the way at the plate going 2-3 with two RBI and two runs scored as Charleston Southern freshman pitcher Stew Brase took care of things on the mound.

Brase went seven innings and allowed just one run on three hits while striking out five.

Carolina again started well and scored in the second inning to go up 1-0. Then in the fourth inning, the Thunder added four runs on four hits. Sills hit an RBI double to score Middle Tennessee State's Ben Darlington.

Sills would later score on a RBI single from USC-Sumter's Michael Caddell. Lenoir Rhyne College sophomore and Clover native Hank Wofford would later single in both Caddell and Appalachian State's Taylor Honeycutt.

Earlier in the week, Carolina picked up its first home win of the season, a 11-2 win over the Tennessee Tornado with the help of Charleston Southern's Anthony Markhun, who went seven innings and struck out 11 while only allowing one run on three hits.

Dziomba again led the way at the plate, going 3-3 with three runs scored.

In its season opener the day before, the Thunder rallied from being down 9-1 in the eighth to come back and win 10-9 against the Morganton Aggies

Upcoming games

• June 13 at Asheville,

5 p.m. (DH)

• June 14 vs. Lake Norman, 5 p.m. (DH)

• June 16 at Spartanburg,

7 p.m.

• June 18 vs. Carolina,

7 p.m.