Southern Standard continued its winning ways Tuesday night with a sparkling defensive performance and timely hitting to defeat Hoover and Son 6-3.
The Standard’s defensive play told the story of the game, highlighted by a diving stop from Levi Jones at second base. Jones managed to get to his feet and throw the runner out at first.
Third baseman William Gillespie caught a line drive to prevent a hit that likely would have gone for extra bases, while Matthew Collangione snagged a sharp hit on the pitcher’s mound. Standard first baseman Owen Clark scooped up several hard shots for outs.
There was a combined total of 19 strikeouts in the game by the four pitchers. Alex Costenado and Colangione pitched for Southern Standard, while Matthew Young and Nathan Elrod pitched for Hoover and Son.
In the top of the first, Alex Castenado and Chase Newby both led off the inning with walks. After a strikeout, Matthew Colangione crushed a hit into the gap for a base-clearing triple. Castenado and Newby crossed the plate to give Southern Standard an early 2-0 lead.
Hoover and Son answered in the bottom of the first. Justus Majors reached first base and Brian Holguin drew a walk. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners around to second and third base and Majors would score on a wild pitch. Forth launched a shot into the gap and Holguin scurried around and crossed the plate to knot the score at 2-2. Gavin Mason put the ball in play for Hoover and Son and that allowed Forth to score and Hoover and Son claimed the lead at 3-2 before the final out ended the inning.
The second inning for both teams was very dismal to say the least. The defenses had stepped up and all offensive production. Southern Standard went three up, three down in the top of the second. The same could be said for Hoover and Son, although Ethan Basham drew a walk, he was gunned down at second as he attempted to steal after Southern Standard picked up a strikeout for the first and second outs.
In the top of the third, Southern Standard went back to the top of the lineup. Alex Castenado and Newby reached for the second straight time. Colangione also reached for the second time, this time he was hit by a pitch. If the pitch got by the catcher Southern Standard made them pay for it. By the time outs two and three were made Southern Standard was back on top 5-3 thanks to aggressive base running.
Hoover and Son fell victim for the second straight inning of three up, three down and the Southern Standard defense started to fire on all cylinders and after three complete it was 5-3.
In the top of the fourth, Southern Standard went back to work and Leo Castenado walked after a lead-off strikeout. After the walk Southern Standard picked up another strikeout for the second out of the inning. Alex Castenado drove a shot into the gap and scored Leo Castenado and Southern Standard took a 6-3 lead.
The final two innings for Hoover and Son were bleek and the fourth the Hoover and Son team went down in order and the fifth inning Harley Hernandez did manage to reach base but Hoover and Son never really got any offense after the first inning and Southern Standard held on for the 6-3 win.