It looked as if it would be a long night between Custom Collision and Game Xchange after a scoreless first inning. The two teams traded ground balls just before the offense for Custom Collision decided to show up in the second inning. After two complete innings Custom Collision led 5-1.
The defense smothered Game Xchange and Custom Collision held on for a 5-3 win even though Custom Collision was held scoreless its last three trips to the plate.
In the top of the first, out of the four batters faced, Bryan Bynum was the only player to reach first base by making contact with the ball. The same could be said for Game Xchange in the bottom of the inning. Of the four batters who made an appearance at the plate, Chance Hunter was the only one to reach safely. But the final outs came afterwards for both sides to end a scoreless first inning.
The middle of the lineup got things started in the right direction during the top of the second for Custom Collision. Sean Cope reached base on balls. Blake Adams jumped all over a pitch that sent the ball soaring into the gap for a double and scored Cope for a 1-0 lead. Alyx Smith and Dyson McBride each made their way to first base. Smith reached on an error and McBride reached on a walk. Jared Scruggs walked to first and scored Adams to extend the lead to 2-0. Bynum advanced the runners on a ground ball to the infield for the second out but scored Smith and McBride for a 4-0 lead. Brady Pegg hit a line-drive and scored Scruggs for a 5-0 lead.
Game Xchange knew it would not be an easy task to comeback and a strikeout led off the second inning. Nate Newby got a free trip down to first base after he drew a walk. Hunter Jones also followed Newby with a walk. A ground ball for the second out allowed the runners to advance and Newby scored to make it a 5-1 game. A single by John Garrett through the defense had the coaches giving the green light for Jones to advance home, but a throw in found its mark and Jones was tagged out to end the inning.
In the top of the third, Cope drew a lead-off walk to start the inning for Custom Collision. A strikeout was called for the first out. Cope quickly advanced to second and then third. A ground ball for out two had Cope caught in between third and home. The tag was made for the final out of the inning.
Game Xchange went back to the top of the lineup and Taylor Smith walked and following Smith, Bryson Elrod was hit by a pitch and Game Xchange had runners at first and second. Chance Hunter singled through the infield and allowed Smith and Elrod to cross the plate. The score was 5-3 when Eli Kuykendall and Nate Newby picked up walks but Hunter was caught for the second out as he tried to steal third. That was followed by a strikeout.
The top of the fourth wasn’t any kinder to Custom Collision and the bats had cooled to the point of not being able to reach base. For the second straight inning Custom Collision went three up, three down but they held the 5-3 lead halfway through the fourth.
In the bottom of the fourth Garret singled into the outfield. Smith reached first base after he was hit by a pitch and Game Xchange had two on with only one out. Elrod drew a walk and went down safely to first base. With the bases full, Game Xchange fell apart and the inning ended after the defense recorded back-to-back outs.
The top of the fifth was an improvement over the previous two innings by Custom Collision. Out of the four batters, Hayden Lytle reached on a walk but he was left on first base as out three ended the inning.
Game Xchange was running out of time and down to its last at-bat. The Custom Collision defense stepped up and Kuykendall led the inning off with a walk. The two following batters made the first and second out and Kuykendall was caught as he tried to reach third base for the final out of the game.
Custom Collision had a good second inning and the defense responded and held Game Xchange to three runs and gave Custom Collision a 5-3 win Thursday evening.