By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Fit to be tied
Placeholder Image

It may take a math genius to decide the seeding for the boys junior league tournament.
After Tuesday’s games, three teams emerged tied for the top spot in the league while three more teams sit only one game out of a first place.
Most of the shakeup was caused by Womack Printing, which knocked off Quality Mold 5-2 to even both team’s records at 4-2 this season. Erie Insurance, which was off Tuesday night, was already 4-2 this year.
In the second game, Pigeon Hill Farms beat Homeland Bank 6-5 to improve to 3-3 this season, tying Southern Standard and Prater’s BBQ for fourth place.
Quality Mold came into Tuesday’s game with the opportunity to lock up the top spot in the standings. Having already beaten Erie Insurance, Quality Mold only needed to beat Womack Printing to clinch the No. 1 seed in the tournament beginning in June.
Taylor Smith had other plans though.
Smith pitched five strong innings for Womack Printing and added a game-winning, inside-the-park grand slam in the fifth inning to top Quality Mold Tuesday night.
Tuesday’s contest went into the fifth inning tied at 1-1 as Smith and Kendall Patrick were locked in a pitcher’s duel. Smith struck out the side in each of the first four innings while Patrick came into the fifth inning with 11 strikeouts in the contest.
Walks were a big issue though as Aston Forth, Gabriel Bowers and Kyota Takeoda drew free passes from Patrick in the top of the fifth inning with one out. Patrick followed with his 13th strikeout though, bringing up Smith with the bases loaded and two outs.
Smith broke the tie and gave his team the lead for good when he smashed a 1-2 pitch to the fence and rounded the bases for an inside-the-park home run. It was the first hit allowed by Patrick since April 25 and broke a string of 14 consecutive hitless innings. For the year, Patrick has pitched 17 innings and struck out 43 batters while allowing just four hits – including a single by Logan Earls following Smith’s home run.
Patrick atoned for the allowed home run with a RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning, but it wouldn’t be enough. Smith struck out the final two batters to finish with 14 strikeouts and push Womack Printing into a tie for first place.
Patrick was 3-for-3 at the plate for Quality Mold. Chance Hunter added two hits, including a RBI single in the third inning to knot the game at 1-1 after Womack Printing scored on a bases-loaded walk in the top of the frame. Austin Conner added a single in the first inning.
In the nightcap, Devin Martin’s game-winning RBI single pushed Pigeon Hill Farms past Homeland Bank in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Pigeon Hill Farms went into the frame trailing 5-4, but Kyle Johnson started a one-out rally with a double. Curtlan George followed by reaching on an error – a miscue that also allowed Johnson to score and tie the game.
Jake Jones, who pitched the final two innings for Homeland Bank, struck out the next batter to get one out away from extra innings, but Pigeon Hill Farms wouldn’t be denied.
Riley Morton extended the game with a single to push George into scoring position and Martin proved to be the hero when his hot shot on an 0-2 pitch sailed into the outfield and allowed the winning run to score.
Nate Simmons got the win for Pigeon Hill Farms as he entered in the fourth inning and allowed only one run while striking out eight. George pitched the first three innings and struck out three while allowing four runs.
Morton led Pigeon Hill Farms at the plate with a 3-for-3 performance. Martin, Johnson and Simmons also had hits in the win.
Jones took the loss for Homeland Bank, which fell to 1-5 this season. Will Wrisner pitched the first four innings for the squad.
Mathew Key had a big night at the plate for Homeland Bank with three hits and three RBIs. Wrisner, Connor Nunley and Will Vance added two hits apiece while Jason Jacobs added a RBI single in the first inning.
The boys junior league is set to conclude its regular season Monday, June 2 with a pair of games.