Indians defeat Truckers in slugfest, 13-8

Published 10:24 am Wednesday, March 21, 2018

by Wes Griffith

The Southampton Indians (1-0) defeated the Churchland Truckers (0-1) on Thursday afternoon in Portsmouth. The Truckers were able to threaten in the bottom of the first as they loaded the bases with 0 outs. After, Southampton starting pitcher Dale Vick recorded a strike out, the next batter for the Truckers hit a towering pop fly to left field. The Indians’ left fielder, John Blum, recorded the out and threw a laser to the plate to gun down the runner from third base.

The Indians were able to capture that momentum and plate three runs in the top of the second. Vick led off the inning reaching first base on a throwing error by the shortstop. With some aggressive base running and a walk the Indians were able to get runners on second and third with two outs. Courtesy runner Shamon Reid-Wilkerson was able to score on a wild pitch while Blum moved to third.

Freshman Josh Williams stroked a double over the center fielders head to plate Blum. Williams would then move to third on a wild pitch and score on a balk by the pitcher to round out the scoring.

Churchland was able to cut the lead in the bottom of the third to 3-1. Churchland’s Brown took the first pitch he saw and lifted it over the left field fence for a towering home run.

The Indians answered in the top of the fourth making the lead 5-1. The Indians’ 2 out rally was started by Josh Haydu as he was hit by a 1-0 fastball. Haydu’s hit by pitch was followed by Blum’s single to left and Williams’ second double of the day. Williams plated both Elliott Cross, who came in for Haydu and Blum.

The Truckers would keep themselves in the game as they cut the lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth. The Truckers earned a leadoff walk. The runner moved to second on a balk by Vick. The next batter hit a ground ball that was thrown over the head of the first baseman and sailed over the fence to plate the second run of the day for the Truckers.

Again, the Indians came up with a good defensive play as catcher Jayton Billups picked off the runner on second base. To end the bottom of the fourth, the Indians were able to roll a 5-4-3 double play.

The Truckers were able to cut the lead to 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth with two throwing errors to lead off the inning. Both runners would score on a single by the third batter of the inning. In the top of the sixth, the Indians would tally another run with a leadoff double by Blum. Blum eventually scored on Casey Nippers single to left field. With the score 6-4, Churchland answered in the bottom of the sixth with a run of their own.

The Truckers earned back to back singles to open the frame and brought one around to score on a couple of ground balls to the shortstop.

In the top of the seventh, the Indians added a much-needed run to make the score 7-5. Freshman Hunter Rountree drove a single past the second baseman to score Reid-Wilkerson. The Indians took the field in the bottom of the seventh with a two-run lead. The leadoff batter of the inning singled to centerfield. Brown, the Truckers’ No. 3 batter again calls his own number and ties up the game with a laser that cleared the centerfield fence.

The Indians were able to retire the last three batters to take the game into extra innings. In the top of the eighth, the Indians would not be denied. Southampton scored five runs in an inning in which every hitter stepped into the batter’s box. The Indians earned three singles and two walks to control the top half of the inning.

Churchland tried to extend the game, but could only manage two runs off three walks and two singles in the bottom half of the inning.

Southampton’s Jesse Martin earned his first varsity win on the mound and Trevor Cook earned his first varsity save. The Indians tallied 13 hits, but had six errors; and Churchland had eight hits with three errors.