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Church leagues see high scores, high drama
Mens play sees plethora of runs
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Scoring wasn’t an issue Thursday at Warren County Fairgrounds as four Church League men’s games combined to put over 100 runs on the score boards.
Leading the way was Hebron, which won 32-15 over Morrison. Also scoring big was Covenant in a 23-2 victory over Cornerstone while Central kept up the big numbers in a 20-18 win over Westwood. Pioneer won the fourth game Thursday 14-9 over Pine Bluff.
Scoring is rarely an issue in slow-pitch softball, but Hebron made it look especially easy against Morrison Thursday night. Hebron scored 14 runs in the first inning, 12 before recording an out, as it rolled to a 17-run win in five innings against Morrison.
Michael Thrower, Jody Denney, Jason Denney and Michael Jones all had two hits in the first inning as Hebron took a double-digit lead.
Tommy Jones hit a two-run, inside-the-park home run to spark a seven-run second inning for Hebron to advance the lead to 21-6.
Morrison tried to make a comeback in the third as Ryan Williams hit a towering two-run home run into the trees behind left field, but it was too little and too late for his team.
Barry Taylor’s three-run home run in the fifth inning pushed Hebron’s lead to 17, where it would stay as the game ended after Morrison went scoreless in the bottom of the fifth.
Taylor, Thrower, Jody Denney and Jason Denney finished with four hits apiece for Hebron. Williams led Morrison with a 4-for-4 performance at the plate.
Covenant continued the trend of winning games after big first-inning rallies when it topped Cornerstone by 21 Thursday. Covenant scored 10 runs in the top of the first and eight more in the third to win convincingly.
Two hits from lead-off batter Collin Hutchins and a three-run blast by Zack Rubley powered the Covenant offense in the first inning. Kalen Killian’s two singles and four RBIs helped the cause in the third as Covenant cruised to victory.
Killian and Hutchins led Covenant with four hits apiece while Rubley, Dylan Fernandez and Brent Aughinbaugh finished with three hits each.
While Covenant was finishing off the second blowout of the night in men’s action on Field 2, Central and Westwood were locked in a closely contested game on Field 1.
It took seven runs in the top of the seventh, then weathering a furious comeback in the final frame, for Central to prevail by two over Westwood.
Brett Simmons and Caleb Northcutt completed four-hit nights with RBI singles to lead the Central rally in the top of the seventh, but it almost wasn’t enough.
Westwood stormed back from a 20-12 deficit to make it a two-run game after RBI triples from Mark Harvey and Codie Phifer, but the comeback attempt ended when Mac Britton flew out as the potential tying run.
Harvey hit for the cycle, including belting a three-run home run in the first inning, in the loss for Westwood. Jacob Rankhorn and Noah Medley added four hits each in the loss.
Pioneer clean-up hitter Chris Sruggs had a 5-for-5 night to lead his team to a five-run victory over Pine Bluff.
Scruggs, who hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning, saved his best for last as his three-run triple in the seventh gave Pioneer a four-run cushion after entering the final inning clinging to a one-run lead. Gage Myers followed with a single to push the advantage to 14-9.
Pine Bluff went quietly in the bottom of the seventh as the team couldn’t rally to win. Jon Moore led Pine Bluff with four hits, the biggest being a solo slam to start the third inning. Cory Prince and MaCrae Thomsen added three hits apiece.
Denny Vaughn and Marty Richardson chipped in four hits each for Pioneer.