In a highly anticipated Tuesday evening game at Sam Martin Field, Fully Loaded versus Hoover & Son were dead even at 5-5 until the middle of the fourth inning with Hoover & Son coming to the plate for what would be its final bat.
Fully Loaded rallied from a three-run deficit to tie the game at 5, but the defense could not hold Hoover & Son scoreless in bottom of the fourth and Fully Loaded was retired in order in its final appearance at the plate. Hoover & Son defeated Fully Loaded, 7-5.
In a close game with a total of 16 strikeouts, it came down to who could make the fewest mistakes.
Luke Campbell started the top of the fourth when he reached first base. Collin Panter followed up with a base on balls. After a strikeout for the first out of the fourth, Seth Cruse was hit by a pitch to load the bases. After several pitches that found the back stop, Campbell and Panter each crossed the plate to knot the score at 5-5. Cruse, who reached base, was caught at third for out two. Chase Ferrell stepped up to the plate and jumped on a pitch in the strike zone for a base hit, but Bogle was caught trying for an extra base for out number three and the game was tied at five.
Hoover & Son’s team went up to bat in the bottom of the fourth with scoring on their mind. Fully Loaded needed a defensive stand to extend the game into another inning. Back-to-back outs is not the way Hoover & Son wanted to start the inning. With two outs, Justus Majors stepped to the plate and he reached by finding a hole in the defense. Gavin Mason was next to step in the batter’s box, Mason also reached and Hoover & Son had two outs with two on base. Nathan Elrod and Ashston Forth each followed with back-to-back base hits that allowed Majors and Mason to cross the plate and Hoover & Son took a 7-5 lead.
Fully Loaded had time for one more trip to the plate, unfortunately its momentum had been yanked away and Fully Loaded went three up, three down in its final at-bat. Hoover & Son defeated Fully Loaded in dramatic fashion 7-5.
The game started in the first inning with Aiden Miller for Fully Loaded being hit by a pitch. Kyler Robinson followed with a base hit followed Miller. The next batter grounded out but pushed the runners around the bases and Miller scored for an early 1-0 lead. Out two came off a strikeout but Campbell reached first and Robinson crossed the plate for a 2-0 lead. Another strikeout ended the inning for Fully Loaded.
Hoover & Son responded after they picked up two consecutive strikeouts. Elrod reached first on a walk. He wasted little time and stole second with Ashton Forth in the batter’s box. Forth hit a line-drive into the gap and Elrod scored for Hoover & Son and they trailed 2-1.
Not much could be said about the Fully Loaded offense in the top of the second. Four batters were faced and three strikeouts were served. Bogle was the only batter to reach first and he was left stranded to end the inning.
Hoover & Son saw an advantage in the bottom of the second and capitalized. They pounced on Fully Loaded in the bottom of the second and three more runs crossed the plate. Kobe Cagle, Harley Hernandez, and Ryota Takeoda all made a quick trip around the base pads to take a 4-2 lead. Mason reached first base but was caught before he was able to cross home for the final out of the inning.
Fully Loaded went back to the drawing board and Kyler Robinson reached first base after a strikeout started the top of the third inning. He had the green light to move down to second and he did safely. With Jake Rains at the plate, Robinson stole third as well. Rains laid down a bunt which allowed Robinson to cross the plate for a 4-3 score. With two outs, a strikeout ended the inning with Hoover & Son holding a slim one-run lead.
In the bottom of the third, Forth was the lone scorer for Hoover & Son and they held the lead at 5-3 after the Fully Loaded defense clamped down and stopped any further scoring.
Fully Loaded came back in the top of the fourth to tie the game 5-5, but the inning ended before they could claim sole possession of the lead. The defense then gave up two runs to Hoover & Son in the bottom of the fourth for a 7-5 lead and Hoover & Son went on to win by retiring Fully Loaded in order its final trip to the plate.a