By Jerry Fekete Banner Correspondent
April 11, 2014
MAN — The Man High School baseball team improved to 5-1 on the season with Wednesday night’s 13-3 mercy-rule win over Westside at Man’s Dr. Juan Nordelo Field.
Austin Cook picked up his first win of the season for the Hillbillies while Baley Beckwith led the Man hitting attack, going 4-for-4 on the night.
Braden Griffin was 1-for-1 with a double off the fence in right field.
Man jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the game.
The Billies then built their lead to 3-0 in the home half of the third stanza on a double steal by Griffin as Beckwith would score.
Cook then got tired in the top of the fourth frame, walking the leadoff batter Justin Kennada followed by a walk to Austin Bailey to load the bases. Cook then fanned Dakota Dean, but could not find the strike zone as he then walked J.D. Blankenship to make it 3-1. He then hit Jacob Meade with the bases juiced, trimming the lead to 3-2.
Jake Adkins then came in to pitch and Dakota Paynter flew out to right field. Meade was then doubled off first base to end the inning as Man led 3-2.
Man pushed its lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning on RBI singles by freshman Cameron Simpson and another RBI single by Beckwith off Renegades’ starter Drew Bragg.
Westside then scored an unearned run in the top of the fifth inning to cut the margin to 5-3.
Man then busted the game wide open in the bottom of the fifth, scoring six runs to take a commanding 11-3 lead off Bragg. The big blow was a two-run single by Beckwith as Paynter came into the game to pitch for the Renegades.
Man then brought in freshman Simpson to pitch in the top of the sixth inning to shut the door.
The Hillbillies then plated two runs in the bottom of the sixth to halt the game due to the mercy rule.
Brian Trent scored the walk-off run for Man as pinch-runner Derek Messer got an infield hit with two outs to win the game.
Cook notched the win for Man, going 3.1 innings and giving up two earned runs and three hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Bragg suffered the loss as he went 4.1 innings and gave up nine runs and seven hits with six walks and three strikeouts.
In addition to his four hits, Beckwith scored three runs and stole five bases.
John Thomas Keffer was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI for Man. Simpson was 1-for-2 with two RBI. Derek Messer and Mikle Scott Rowe each had a hit and an RBI for Man. Cayce Mullins also singled.
Class AA Westside (3-5) was led by Bragg, who was 2-for-3.
Man is scheduled to travel to Liberty Raleigh on Friday before going to Fayetteville to face the host Pirates and also Oak Hill in a doubleheader on Saturday.
Charleston Catholic 0
MAN — It took just one hour and six minutes for the Man High School softball team to come away with a 15-0, three-inning mercy-rule win over Charleston Catholic on Wednesday evening at home.
Man (6-4) sent 10 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first inning, scoring six runs on five hits while Catholic committed two errors.
The big hit during the frame was Casey Albright’s bases loaded single that got past centerfieler Casey Walker for three RBI to give Man an early 4-0 lead over the Irish.
Emily Toler then delivered an RBI single to up the margin to 5-0. An RBI single off the bat of Hannah Harvey made it 6-0.
The Lady Billies then batted around in the home half of the second inning, sending 14 batters to the plate, scoring nine times to push the lead to 15-0.
Pitcher Madison Keffer’s RBI single made it 7-0. Freshman Hunter Harvey then reached on an error to make it 8-0. Toler then had an RBI groundout to give Man a 9-0 lead.
Hannah Harvey’s two-run single increased the margin to 11-0.
Kelli Grimmett then ripped a solid single up the middle for a 12-0 advantage.
Sidney Keffer later reached base safely on an Irish error as it was 13-0. Cari Blair then made it 14-0 with an RBI single. The final score of the game was when winning pitcher Keffer came up with an RBI single for the 15th run.
Brianna Ross and Christina O’Dell singled for Charleston Catholic in the top of the third but Keffer then got the Irish out to end the game early.
Catholic had four hits in the game but committed five errors. Man had 12 hits and two errors.
The Lady Billies hosted Sherman on Thursday night. Man goes to Van on Saturday at 4 p.m. and then plays at Westside on April 15 before hosting Wyoming East on April 16.