With the ball sailing straight to center field, Logan Earls almost went into a trot. Instead, Earls had to leg out a double when his hot shot slammed into the fence. He didn’t have to run as hard his next at-bat.
Earls capped a big night at the plate by smashing a grand slam, highlighting Warren County Middle School’s 10-4 victory over Whitworth Buchanan Friday night at home.
The Pioneer lead-off hitter was a terror to the visitors, finishing with three hits. None were bigger than his blast in the fifth inning.
Earls had already showed his power in the second inning, ringing the fence in straight center. He also showed his skills on the mound, pitching the Pioneers out of a bases-loaded jam with a strikeout to end the top of the fifth.
By the time he stepped to the plate with the bags juiced in the bottom of the frame, the moment was set up for Earls to star.
Yellow Jacket outfielders barely had time to turn and run when Earls unleashed on a 1-0 pitch. The no-doubter put the Pioneers up 9-0, all but guaranteeing the team its third win.
Warren County gave up four runs in the sixth, but Wesley Sherrell worked a relatively light seventh inning to slam the door.
“I am proud of the team’s effort,” said coach Chad Young, who saw his team even its record at 3-3. “The bats got hot and we made some good defensive plays. We battled through a tough inning and now we’re going into the break with some momentum.”
Kayden Coates earned the win Friday, pitching into the fifth inning before giving way to Earls in the fifth. The eighth-grader pitched to only one batter, but he made it count with a strikeout to stop an Indian rally.
Aiden Miller helped the Pioneers play from in front the whole game, with his two-out, RBI single in the first highlighting a three-run inning. Brayan Holguin also dropped a two-run single in between three Indians.
Sherrell, JJ Jacobs and Alex van Vuuren also had hits in the big win.
The Pioneers will be off next week for spring break. Warren County is scheduled to return to play Thursday, March 28 at Upperman.