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Babe Ruth league gets under way
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The Babe Ruth League is back in action.
The four-team league made its debut last week and held its second night of games Monday night. After two nights of games, Rotary Club and Nursery Supply have risen to the top in the standings.
Rotary Club beat Sun Drop 9-5 Monday while Nursery Supply blanked First National Bank 5-0 to each start 2-0 this season.
Rotary Club, which beat First National Bank in its opener 10-1, got a big first inning Monday against Sun Drop that propelled it to an easy win.
Crockett Walker and Micah Woodlee each singled and scored in a four-run first inning for Rotary Club. Dylan Ward and Blane Elkins, who both walked, also came around in the frame.
The early advantage grew to seven in the third inning when Elkins, Trevor Collins and Colby Mason each blasted run-scoring singles. Rotary Club also used aggressive base running to score as Walker stole home on an attempted pick-off play to make it 8-1.
Devin Terry rallied Sun Drop in the bottom of the third when his one-out double sparked a three-run inning. Michael Hopkins, who scored in the second inning after a walk, added a two-run single that cut the Rotary Club lead to 8-4.
Rotary Club answered back with one run in the fourth inning when Keaton Welch reached on an error and scored.
With time running out, Sun Drop tried to mount a comeback in the bottom of the fourth inning. Terry reached base on a fielder’s choice to give the team a runner with two outs. Ethan Cowan brought around Terry with a single, making it 8-5.
Mikkola joined Cowan on base by drawing a walk from Walker. The free pass brought the tying run to the plate in the form or Riley Majors.
Walker was able to get Majors to swing at the first pitch he saw and it bounced right back to the pitcher’s mound. Walker fielded cleanly and tossed to first for the final out.
Walker earned the save by pitching the final two innings while Ward earned the victory. Logan Greer took the loss for Sun Drop.
In Monday’s second game, Tyler Hollingsworth dominated on the mound to help Nursery Supply earn its second shutout. On opening night, Nursery Supply beat Sun Drop 12-0.
Hollingsworth threw a no-hitter over five innings while striking out seven. The only First National Bank batters to reach were on seven walks issued by Hollingsworth, including loading the bases on free passes in the second inning. Hollingsworth was able to battle out of that jam with a strikeout.
After avoiding a potential rally by First National Bank in the top of the second inning, Nursery Supply scored all five of its runs in the bottom of the frame.
Colton Smith led off the inning with a triple. Following a walk to Ethan Smith, Jack Keele brought in both his teammates with a single. Keele, Aiden McVey and Ian McClure would all score later on passed balls.
Hollingsworth protected the five-run lead by holding First National Bank to only two base runners in the final three innings. Hollingsworth finished strong in the fifth inning with back-to-back strikeouts before forcing the final batter to ground out to shortstop.
Luke Melton took the loss for First National Bank as he pitched two innings and allowed five runs on two hits while walking three and striking out four. Dillon Young pitched the final two innings and had five strikeouts.
Hollingsworth, Keele and Colton Smith finished with one hit apiece in the victory.
Babe Ruth league action will return Monday with a battle of unbeatens on the slate. Rotary Club will face Nursery Supply at 5:30 p.m. while First National Bank and Sun Drop will be looking for their first wins when they take Edley Newman Field at 7:30 p.m.