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Hobbs plays big role in Southern Standard victory
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Anytime Southern Standard needed a big play Monday night in its boys junior league game, it seemed Alec Hobbs came through big time.
Hobbs had two hits – including a big bases-loaded triple – and pitched two innings to help Southern Standard defeat Security Federal 9-2 in Monday’s first game at Sam Martin Field.
In an important early matchup in league standings, Southern Standard emerged from Monday tied for third place with Womack Printing, which won 1-0 in Monday’s second game. Both teams improved to 3-2 in their latest matchups, but Southern Standard may have gone the other way if not for Hobbs.
It seemed like Hobbs’ night from the first pitch. In the top of the first, Hobbs roped a lead-off double off Security Federal starter Pedro Mendez.
Hobbs would be one of three Southern Standard players to cross the plate in the first inning as Trad Grizzle and Mathew Colongione turned walks into runs. Owen Clark added a RBI groundout in the frame.
Four straight walks would allow Southern Standard to take a 4-0 lead in the second inning as Lytle Sparkman trotted in when William Gillespie drew a bases-loaded free pass.
Security Federal used the same strategy to score a second-inning run. Four straight walks brought in one run before Adrian Mendez added a RBI single to slice the deficit to 4-2.
Southern Standard was clinging to the 4-2 lead in the third when Hobbs came to bat with the bases loaded and two outs. Once again, Hobbs jumped on the first pitch he saw and sent it sailing into left field. All three runners scored as Hobbs reached third base with a big smile on his face.
Hobbs would take over on the mound in the bottom of the third and quickly made sure Security Federal wouldn’t mount a rally. Hobbs retired five of the seven batters he faced while striking out three. Ethan Bernhardt’s triple was the only hit Hobbs allowed.
Trad Grizzle pitched two innings to earn the win.  He also had one hit. Clark also had one hit – a double to  spark a two-run fourth inning.
Bernhardt and Adrian Mendez had the lone hits for Security Federal, which fell to 2-3.
In Monday’s second game, Taylor Smith was a one-man show while leading Womack Printing to a 1-0 victory over Homeland Bank.
Smith pitched a complete-game shutout and hit an inside-the-park home run for his team’s lone run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
On the mound, Smith finished with 12 strikeouts – including striking out the side in the third inning. Smith allowed only three hits – two by Jake Jones and a double to Quin Goodson.
Even with Smith dominating on the mound, the game went into the bottom of the fourth scoreless as Jones matched Smith pitch-for-pitch. It wasn’t until Smith blasted a ball deep into left field and circled all the bases that Womack Printing would be able to earn the win.
Logan Earls added a triple in the contest for Womack Printing.
Jones took the tough loss as he allowed two hits while striking out 12 as well. Jones had a streak of seven straight strikeouts as he retired the side on his own in the second and third innings. The loss dropped Homeland Bank to 1-3.