The boys 9-10 junior league tournament started Monday at Sam Martin Field with a pair of blowout victories, both featuring standout pitching performances.
Bryson Elrod threw a no-hitter to lead Womack Printing to a 12-1 victory over Netherton Dentistry while Braden Bottoms and Jared Scruggs combined for 13 strikeouts to help Gary Steele Karate down Enterprise 12-1.
Elrod was dominant from the start against Netherton as his opponents could only hope for walks to get on base. Elrod pitched four innings without allowing a hit, though he issued seven free passes.
Elrod’s lone blemish came in the third inning when he worked to a full count on four batters, but threw ball four each time. The fourth walk was issued to Ethan Hillis and he got an RBI as Cameron Chilcutt scored.
Elrod forced a two-out, based-loaded pop fly to center field that Robbie Cole snagged for the final out as Womack Printing went back to the dugout looking to put the finishing touches on its first game in the double-elimination tournament.
Already leading 6-1 entering the bottom of the third thanks to RBI hits by Elrod, Westen Wilson and C.J. Taylor in the second inning, Womack Printing doubled its run total to cruise to victory.
Taylor Smith started the rally by drawing a walk and went to third when he was joined on the base paths by Cole and Carter Smith following singles. Eli Cantrell and Wilson each drew walks to bring around runs before Taylor put the exclamation point on the 11-run win.
Taylor drove a 1-1 pitch to the fence and sprinted around the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam to make it 12-1.
Elrod closed down the game with his sixth strikeout and celebrated as he lifted his team into the winner’s bracket semifinals. Netherton Dentistry, which is still in search of its first win this season, fell into the loser’s bracket.
Taylor’s 3-for-3 night at the plate and five RBIs led the Womack Printing offense. Elrod, Smith and Cole added two hits apiece while Wilson chipped in a two-run single in the second inning.
If not for two hits by Alec Hobbs, Bottoms and Scruggs would’ve thrown the second no-hitter of the night for Gary Steele Karate.
The duo settled for 13 strikeouts while allowing a lone run in the bottom of the fifth to propel their team to an 11-run win in the first round of the boys 9-10 junior league tournament.
Gary Steele took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-run double by Bottoms and RBI single by Donivan Scruggs. Dante Elam added to the lead with a run-scoring single in the third before the offense really picked up the pace in the fourth.
Jared Scruggs drilled a bases-loaded triple to make it 7-0 in the fourth, then scored on Donivan Scruggs’ second RBI single as Gary Steele pushed the lead to eight runs.
Bottoms and Jalyn Mart increased the lead to double figures with two-run doubles in the fifth inning before Enterprise finally got on the board.
Trailing 12-0, Hobbs drew a lead-off walk in the bottom of the fifth and would steal three bases to end the shutout.
Hobbs led the game off with a triple and added a single in the third inning for Enterprise’s only hits.
Donivan Scruggs finished 4-for-4 to lead Gary Steele Karate. Bottoms was next with three hits, followed by Curtlan George with two hits and Mart, Elam, Andy Thompson, Braden Marcum and Jared Scruggs with one hit apiece.
Bottoms had 10 strikeouts before leaving the game in the fifth inning after three straight walks. Scruggs ended the game with three consecutive strikeouts.
Tournament action continued last night at Sam Martin Field, but scores were unavailable at press time. The tournament is set to continue Thursday night and will run through next week.