Things looked bleak for the North Greene baseball team early on Thursday, but the Huskies were able to dig their way out of a 7-0 hole before picking up a 14-10 win over West Greene.
“I am very proud of them, because they could have laid down after falling behind 7-0,” North Greene coach Jason Lowe said. “This could have gotten ugly, but we just kept fighting. But in our first two games we have given up a combined 13 runs in the first inning. We have to come out better, because you can’t always dig out of a hole like this.”
After falling behind 7-0 in two innings of play the Huskies began to claw their way back into the contest in the third inning.
Don Stansfield and Tyler Britton were able to work a pair of walks to start the inning before Isaac Gaby sent a ground ball to third base that the Buffaloes mishandled trying to turn a double play. The result was no outs and a loaded base path.
North Greene’s first run crossed when Jake Duffy was hit by a pitch. Britton then scored on a passed ball, and on the play West Greene catcher Judson Higgins threw past pitcher Austin Wampler trying to protect the plate which allowed Gaby to score as well.
Two pitches later Colton Robbins sent an RBI single to centerfield. Adam Weir knocked in the Huskies’ fifth unearned run of the inning when he sent a ball back to the mound that was thrown away trying to catch Robbins at third. Instead of catching the lead runner Robbins scored to close the gap to 7-5.
North Greene earned only six hits on Thursday on their way to scoring 14 runs, but they kept putting the ball in play and used aggressive base running to put pressure on the Buffs.
“We just had to start swinging the bat, and once we did that I thought it was good offensive day,” Lowe said. “We were aggressive on the bases. It’s easy to defend a strikeout, but when you start hitting balls hard and hitting them down you make them make a play. That’s all I can ask, we hit the ball hard and put pressure on them running the bases.”
West Greene was able to get one run back in the bottom of the third when Conner Campbell sent a fly ball deep into the right-center gap to score Kaven Greene from first.
In the fourth frame North Greene’s offense picked up where it left off in the third, and loaded the bases with two walks and single from Tyler Britton. Duffy then sent a ground ball to third. The Buffaloes tried to get the force out at the plate, but the throw pulled Higgins off the bag which allowed the run to score.
Robbins sent an RBI single through the left side and Weir worked a bases loaded walk to give the Huskies the lead at 9-8. Seth Charlton stretched the lead to 10-8 when he sent single to centerfield.
North Greene tacked on four more runs in the sixth inning. Gaby led off the side by slamming a double into left field. Then with the bases loaded a pair of wild pitches allowed two runs to cross the plate.
With runners on first and third the Buffs tried to catch Weir stealing second but the throw made its way to the grass and Robbins scored from third to push the lead to 13-8. Weir made it to third on the play and scored when Charlton put a sacrifice fly into right field for a 14-8 lead.
West Greene got two runs back in the bottom of the seventh inning. Jaden Gregg led off the side with a single through the left side and Mason McCamey knocked him in with a line drive to right field. McCamey scored on a balk before the Huskies could get out of the inning.
West Greene got the afternoon started with six runs in the bottom of the first inning. Judson Higgins made is way to first on an error and scored from third on a failed pickoff attempt to first.
Gregg gave the Buffs a 3-0 lead when he sailed a two-run home run well over the left field fence.
Braden McCamy and Dylan Dodson reached base on a pair of singles before Campbell scored them both on a fly ball to left field. Greene reached third on Campbell’s hit and scored on a balk for a 6-0 lead.
The Buffaloes added one more run in the second inning. Wampler dropped a single into right field and scored when Mason McCamey got a line drive through the right side of the infield.
Freshman Aiden Haley earned the win on the mound for the Huskies. In four innings he struck out five, walked four and gave up nine hits while allowing eight runs.
Mason Smith came on in relief and threw the final three innings. He was perfect for two of those innings before finishing with two strikeouts, two walks, and two hits allowed.
“Mason has not gotten to throw a lot, but he is probably our hardest thrower,” Lowe said. “When he is throwing strikes he pretty tough to hit. He has to work on rushing when he has runners on base. When nobody is on base he is tough, but he starts thinking to much with runners on, and that’s probably from lack of reps.”
For West Greene Wampler threw into third into third inning. He gave up five runs, all unearned, while allowing two hits with three strikeouts and two walks.
Gregg threw innings with four hits allowed, five walks and three strikeouts. Mason McCamey threw the final two innings with no hits allowed, three walks and four strikeouts.
At the plate for North Greene Robbins was 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Charlton was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
For West Greene Wampler went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Gregg was 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs, and Mason McCamey was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.