RedWolves SwampDogs

The Florence RedWolves' Lex Tuten is tagged out at second after being caught in a rundown between first and second. The Johnsonville native, however, finished the night 2 for 4 at designated hitter.

FLORENCE, S.C. -- The Florence RedWolves earned their first victory of the season Saturday night, winning 3-1 against the Fayetteville SwampDogs at Sparrow Stadium.

It was an awesome game, awesome crowd, awesome environment," RedWolves coach Ryan Vruggink said. "The guys seemed to thrive on that."

Florence's record improves to 1-2 and its next game is 7 p.m. Monday at Asheboro.

After the RedWolves dropped to 0-2 after Friday's loss to Macon, Vruggink reminded his team the season is still young.

"I just told them not to panic. There's no need to panic," Vruggink said. "I told them that we've got a lot of talent here, and the hits are going to come and we're going to get better on the mound as we keep going. A lot of these guys hadn't played in a little bit as some didn't make conference tournaments or whatever, or they red-shirted, they're trying to get their feet wet again. And the baseball will keep getting better as we keep going."

The RedWolves wasted no time taking charge Saturday, scoring twice in the bottom of the first. One run scored on a Kenny Piper triple, and the other crossed home plate on a sacrifice fly by J.T. Weber.

Vruggink talked about how Piper's triple set the tone.

"Kenny's a really talented kid," Vruggink said. "He has a big arm behind the plate and is pretty good with the stick, too. So, I'm excited to see him here all summer."

After Fayetteville scored in the top of the second on a Trent Harris groundout, Florence increased its lead to 3-1 in the seventh on an RBI from Reid Hardwick's sacrifice fly.

Winning pitcher Seth Chestnut went six innings while striking struck out eight and walking one. And Connor Holden earned the save.

"(Chestnut) had a really good appearance, and (Holden) came on strong," Vruggink said. "When you can use just two arms in a game and win it 3-1, things are going right."

After playing catcher Friday, Lex Tuten was the RedWolves' designated hitter Saturday and went 2 for 4. Jake Swartz, meanwhile, went 1 for 2.

Prep Sports Writer

Scott covers prep sports, takes action photos and produces videos. An APSE award winner in sports writing, photography and videography, he played college tennis on scholarship and earned degrees from Young Harris College (Ga.) and Berry College (Ga.).

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