Bulldogs drop pair in baseball doubleheader
BY DENNIS CLAYTON
RIPLEY – New Albany’s Bulldogs were their own worst enemy in Tuesday’s opening game of doubleheader action of summer baseball. Ripley won 11-2 and the Tigers also took the nightcap 5-3.
Ripley took advantage of two big innings to score eight of their 11 runs, plating three in the second and five in the fourth. Walks and errors kept both innings alive for the Tigers as they sent nine batters up in the second and 10 in the fourth.
New Albany closed the score to 3-2 in the top of the fourth as Austin Gafford’s grounder went through under the shortstop’s glove to get the leadoff man on. Eli Jackson’s sacrifice bunt moved Gafford to second. Sam McMillin was called out on an extremely close play at first to give the Bulldogs two outs. Artavious Nugent hit a two-run homer over the left-center fence to get the Bulldogs within a run.
The Tigers put the game out of reach with their five runs in the fourth and added three insurance runs to go up 11-2.
The Bulldogs managed two runs on four hits while committing seven costly errors. New Albany’s pitchers only surrendered seven hits, but seven walks and three hit batters gave the Tigers a host of baserunners during the contest.
The Bulldog defense committed seven errors which also resulted in keeping the Tiger’s scoring opportunities alive.
BY DENNIS CLAYTON
ELLISTOWN – East Union’s Lady Urchins got the sweep over Wheeler on Thursday, taking game one 10-2 and the nightcap 13-7.
In game one, Savannah Greer went five innings en route to the win. Greer surrendered two runs in the first and then blanked the Lady Eagles over the final four innings.
The Lady Urchins got a big blast from Emily Bruce in the second inning as her drive down the right field line resulted in an inside-the-park solo home run and give East Union a 5-2 lead.
Sallie Pannell’s two RBI double in the bottom of the first had earlier given the Lady Urchins the lead after Wheeler had jumped out to the early 2-0 advantage. East Union plated four runs total in the first.
The Lady Urchins batted around in the bottom of the third, scoring five runs to safely put the game ut of reach and resulting in the 10-2 final.
Rebecca Sheffield put on a hitting clinic in game two, going three for three with an inside-the-park three runs homer plus two triples. Sheffield drove in two runs with her second triple of the game in the Lady Urchins second. Sheffield had five RBIs in game two and scored three runs.
East Union sent 12 batters to the plate in the first, scoring six runs on six hits.
The Lady Urchins added one run in the second, four in the third and two in the fourth to reach their 13-7 final.
Kensie Roberts took the win, going three innings and allowing five runs.
BY DENNIS CLAYTON
East Union and Ingomar are the lone survivors of the original 10 Union County playoff teams in baseball and softball. Both teams begin their best of three series tonight in baseball.
Ingomar (21-6) will host Hamilton (10-11) at 7:00 tonight.
Matt Browning leads the Falcon pitching staff with his 7-1 record over 51.1 innings. Browning boasts a 1.91 ERA with 17 walks and 63 strikeouts.
Kelton Hall leads the team in batting with a .380 average with five home runs and 36 RBIs. Joseph Broom is next in production at the plate with .371 batting average and 24 RBIs and one home run.
East Union (15-15) will travel to East Webster (24-3) for their game one series opener today at 6:00.
The Urchins feature starter Witt Roaton as their ace pitcher. Roaton is 4-4 with a 3.34 ERA over 50.1 innings. He has 65 strikeouts and issued 31 walks on the year.
East Union is led by eighth-grader Cade Bell at the plate. Bell is batting .432 with 29 RBIs, one home run and nine doubles.
Leadoff batter Zane Wilkinson is also a threat to reach base with his .408 average and nine doubles. Wilkinson leads the Urchins in steals, having successfully stolen 18 of 19 attempts.
The series will shift on Thursday with Ingomar traveling to Hamilton and East Union will host East Webster. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 on Thursday.
East Union rode the arm of Joel Wilkinson and the bat of Lane Plunk to win game three of their series against Strayhorn 8-2 on Friday and take the series 2-1.
Wilkinson was masterful on the mound, scattering six hits and limiting Strayhorn’s offensive hitting machine, Pedro Rubio to a solo home run. Wilkinson struck out three on the day.
Plunk was 2 for 4 with four RBIs and a double. The senior drove in the first Urchin run in the top of the first and also had a hand in all three East Union runs in the third, driving in two with his double and scoring the third run on Drew Edward’s RBI single.
East Union advances to the third round of 2A playoffs and will face the winner of the Baldwyn/East Webster series.
MYRTLE – Myrtle and West Union needed eight innings to settle their Division 2-1A baseball opener and the Hawks were able to scratch out a 5-4 win. With bases loaded, the Hawks scored on a hit by pitch to take the narrow win.
“It was a big win, it’s one of those that seemed like a marathon game,” Myrtle coach Robert Gordon said. “I know it just went eight innings, but I was thinking, man I don’t know how much more I can take. I was glad we scratched that run across at the end, but I credit their pitcher, he’s good, he’s really good.
Myrtle scored in the bottom of the first as leadoff batter Lane Bishop doubled and later scored to put the Hawks up 1-0. Dillon Kennon extended the Hawks’ lead to 2-0 in the second as he got the leadoff walk and scored.
West Union came back in the third to take a 3-2 lead as catcher Luke Willard reached on an error. Riley Bogue came on to as a courtesy runner. Cole Phillips reached and Andrew Childers was hit by pitch to load the bases. John Austin Taylor drove in one run and two more scored on miscues by the Hawks.
Myrtle came right back in the bottom of the inning to tie as Brandon Perkins led off with a single and was driven in on Jacob Kent’s RBI double.
Zach Perkins broke the tie in the bottom of the fifth as he ripped a home run over the left field fence. Perkins was 0-2 in the count when he launched his shot to left to put the Hawks up 4-3.
The Eagles tied the score at 4-4 in the top of the sixth as John Austin Taylor doubled and later scored on Hayden Basil’s RBI single.
Both team threatened in the seventh inning but two plays at the play left the score deadlocked. In the Eagle seventh, a bunt attempt to push across the lead run failed as pitcher Brandon tagged out the runner trying to score from third. Myrtle got the leadoff batter on in their half of the inning and attempted to score him from second on Dillon Kennon’s single, but Eagle centerfielder Cole Phillips threw out the lead runner at the plate.
West Union threatened again in the eight after getting runners aboard at second and third with one out, but Brandon shut down the Eagle threat with back-to-back strikeouts.
Bishop singled and reached with one out and eventually wound up at third with still only one out. West Union opted to load the bases to set up the force at any base, but Myrtle took the win as Zach Perkins was hit to drive in the winning run.
“It was a great game,” Gordon said. “It was a great game to be a part of win or loss, I told my kids that if we had lost, I would have still been proud of them.”
Both starters Brandon for Myrtle and Taylor for West Union went the distance in the contest and gave their teams a quality outing and opportunity to win.
“When we started the game, I felt like we were tight, but I really feel like it means something to this group and it’s the first real big game they’ve played and once we got over that hump, we really battled,” West Union coach Ashley Russell said. “Both teams battled and that turned into one of the better baseball games that I’ve seen in a while. I was proud of my guys, we had a number of guys that made plays. John Austin Taylor battled for us and really has become a good leader and did everything he could to win, I put him in a bad situation there at the end of the game, that one’s on me.