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End of the line
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The top spot in the boys 7-8 machine-pitch league wasn’t up for grabs on the final night of the regular season Tuesday, but teams were still jockeying for tournament seeds when action heated up at Hoover and Millraney Field.
Prater’s BBQ claimed the No. 2 seed in the tournament with an 11-0 win over O’Reilly, while Hillis Nursery and Scott’s Toilets will be riding a wave of momentum into the tournament after wins Tuesday night. Hillis Nursery beat Randall Walker Farms 15-1 and a late rally propelled Scott’s Toilets past Hoover and Son Insurance 4-3.
The Prater’s BBQ defense was nearly flawless Tuesday as the team earned a shutout win in its final regular-season game. O’Reilly only had two hits -a single by Cooper Thurman in the second and single by Aiden Miller in the fourth - as Prater’s BBQ locked down on defense.
On offense, Prater’s BBQ started with a bang and never slowed down. Four straight hits by Matthew Young, J.J. Jacobs, Layne Roberts and Trent Mills produced three runs in the top of the first.
Roberts added to the lead with a two-run, inside-the-park home run in the third to make it 5-0. An RBI double by Robert Young and run-scoring single from Dean Marquez pushed the lead to seven entering the fourth.
The top of the order was solid again in the top of the fourth as Matthew Young, Jacobs, Roberts and Mills went 4-for-4 and the lead swelled to nine. Kyler Robinson’s two-run single pushed the advantage to 11-0 entering the final frame.
Miller singled with one out in the bottom of the fourth, but the league’s run rules ended the game as O’Reilly didn’t have enough batters left to make a comeback.
Roberts, Jacobs and Mills led Prater’s BBQ with three hits apiece, followed by Matthew Young with two and Robinson, Marquez, Robert Young and Levi Jones with one hit each.
In other action, an eight-run second inning helped Hillis Nursery win its third game this season.
Hillis Nursery led 2-1 going into the second after a two-run, inside-the-park home run by Riley Morton in the first inning, but the lead would swell as everybody got in on the hitting spree.
Matthew Colongione and Bradley Holden started the inning with singles before Ty Myers blasted an RBI double. Matthew Key’s bases-loaded triple and Morton’s run-scoring double helped push the lead to 10-1.
Hillis Nursery put the finishing touches on its blowout win as Brodie Cowans hit a bases-loaded double and Brendon Sheppard hit a two-run, inside-the-park home run to end the game.
Cowans, Sheppard, Key, Morton, Holden and Myers finished with two hits each for Hillis Nursery. Colongione, Rylan Elkins and Blaine Gilley added one hit apiece.
Collin Panter led Randall Walker Farms with two hits and one RBI. Braxton Hopkins, Wesley Sherrell, Chase Newby and Hunter Knight chipped in one hit each.
Kayden Coates came through in the clutch to push Scott’s Toilets to its fourth win Tuesday. Scott’s Toilets was trailing Hoover and Son Insurance 3-1 going into the bottom of the fourth, but Coates hit a game-winning, inside-the-park home run for the victory.
Talen Mullican started the fourth with a triple, then scored on a single by Peyton Adams. Adams was still on base with two outs when Coates blasted the ball to the fence and never stopped running.
It was part of a 3-for-3 night for Coates as he helped Scott’s Toilets improve to 4-4. Mullican, Adams, Devin Martin, Caylon Driver and Yehoshua Piaruiz also had hits for Scott’s Toilets.
Kyle Johnson had two hits, including an inside-the-park home run, for Hoover and Son Insurance. Taylor Hillis, True Craven, Dayton Jernigan, William Gillispie, Dylan Baccahl and Noah Murphy also had hits.
The boys 7-8 league tournament is scheduled to begin Friday with three games at Hoover and Millraney Field.