Leading up to the season, USC Beaufort baseball coach Bryan Lewallyn said if he needed to win one game, he would want to hand the ball to Michael Heesch.
The senior left-hander made Lewallyn look prophetic in his debut as a head coach, as Heesch started the season with four shutout innings, then handed the ball off to the bullpen for five hitless frames to give the Sand Sharks a 2-0 win over Brewton-Parker in their season opener in Mount Vernon, Ga.
The Sand Sharks (1-0) came up with all the offense they needed in the sixth inning. DeShontay Berry and Keifer Youmans delivered singles to set the table for Ty Main, who lined a two-run double into the gap in right-center field.
Main was 2 for 5, and David O'Neil and Youmans each went 2 for 4. Gabe Torres, Erik Armstrong and David Greene also had hits for USCB.
The pitching staff took care of the rest, as Heesch, Andrew Barrineau and Matt Barger combined on a four-hitter for the 14th shutout in program history.
Heesch had to work out of two early jams. He twice loaded the bases with no outs but managed to escape unscathed each time.
Barrineau (1-0) and Barger had no such trouble. Barrineau, a junior right-hander, struck out four and walked one over three innings, and Barger, a senior left-hander who transferred from Southern Poly State, also struck out four and allowed only one walk over two innings for the save.
Starter Daniel Jones (0-1) took the loss for Brewton-Parker.
The win ends a four-game losing streak against the Barons, who have developed into one of USCB's top non-conference rivals. It also maintains USCB's streak -- the Sand Sharks have not lost a season opener in their four-year history.
USCB improves to 3-5 all-time against the Barons, who will travel to Hardeeville's Richard Gray Baseball Complex for a rematch today at 1 p.m.