After nearly two weeks of inactivity due to the relatively safe assumption that Mother Nature is not a fan of America’s favorite pastime, baseball finally returned to the diamond at Manchester High School on Monday, July 6 as the “A” league Greyhounds played host to the Peebles 1 Indians. The two weeks off seemed to be more of a benefit to the pitchers than the hitters as the trio of Manchester’s Trey Meade and Kaulen Cox plus Peebles’ Stephen Penn combined to allow just six hits while striking out 30 batters. The tightly fought contest went into extra innings where a Trey Meade bases loaded single against a drawn-in infield provided a walk-off winner for the Hounds as they narrowly escaped with a 3-2 win.
With Meade on the hill to start the game for Manchester, the Indians struck first in their initial at-bat. Lane Hanson led off the game with a walk and stole second base and after the next two hitters were retired, scored when Austin Newkirk reached on an error, giving Peebles the early 1-0 advantage.
On the hill for Peebles, Penn was firing bullets, striking out five of the first six batters that he faced as he retired the Hounds in order in the first two frames. His offense got him another run in the top of the third when Alex Seaman drew a walk , went to second on a passed ball, and came home on a base hit to right by Austin Newkirk to make it 2-0.
Manchester finally broke through against the offerings of Penn in the bottom half of the third as Mason Applegate led off with a double to left, barreling head first into second base safely. Applegate moved up to third on a wild pitch and then came home when Jalen James grounded out to first base as the Hounds sliced the deficit in half.
Meade found his stride on the mound in the fourth and fifth, fanning five, as his night came came to a close after an 11-strikeout performance. Kaulen Cox came on in relief for the home team and eventually got the win with three innings of scoreless work.
The Indians held their one-run lead until the bottom of the fifth when the Hounds drew even. With one out, Trey Meade was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a Kaulen Cox ground out. Meade then came home with the tying run when catcher Nick Hoskins drove a clutch single up the middle to even things at two apiece.
With Cox on the mound for the Hounds, the Indians threatened in the top of the seventh after Bostin Robinson legged out an infield hit and Hanson walked, all with one out, but Cox was up to the task, striking out Levi Newkirk and then getting Seaman on a fly ball to center to end the inning. With a chance to win it in the bottom of the seventh, the Greyhounds did nothing as Penn just got stronger in his final inning of work, striking out the side to send the game to extra innings.
Cox got the Indians in order in the top of the eighth and in the bottom half, Robinson came on in relief for Peebles. He was promptly greeted by a lead off double to right center by Rickey Deatley, who stole third to put the winning run just 90 feet away with no outs. Jordan Carpenter drew a walk and then Peebles head coach Brian Seaman chose to intentionally walk Cole Meade to load the bases. Seaman also drew in his infield and outfield to try and cut off the winning run from scoring from third base.
That brought Trey Meade to the dish and he wasted no time in sending all the Manchester fans home happy as he drove Robinson’s first pitch right back up the middle past the drawn in fielders to score DeAtley and give the Hounds a thrilling 3-2 victory.
Cox got the win in relief, going three scoreless frames and striking out five, as he and Meade held the Indians to just two hits in the game. Robinson took the loss, but Peebles starter Stephen Penn deserved a much better fate. Penn went seven strong innings, allowing just two hits and two earned runs while striking out 14 Manchester hitters and walking none.
With the win, the Hounds improved to 8-1 on the rain-plagued “A” league season, while the Indians dropped to 4-4. Both teams now await postseason tournament play, which will begin on June 19.
PEEBLES 101 000 00 —2
MANCHESTER 001 010 01 —3
Peebles Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Hanson 2-1-0-0, L. Newkirk 4-0-0-0, Seaman 3-1-0-0, A. Newkirk 4-0-1-1, Penn 4-0-0-0, Jones 3-0-0-0, Shiveley 3-0-0-0, Browning 2-0-0-0, Rawlins 1-0-0-0, Robinson 3-0-1-0, Team 29-2-2-1.
Manchester Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): DeAtley 3-1-1-0, Carpenter 2-0-0-0, C. Meade 2-0-0-0, T. Meade 2-1-1-1, Kaulen Cox 2-0-0-0, Hoskins 2-0-1-1, Applegate 2-1-1-0, James 2-0-0-1, Thatcher 2-0-0-0, Kaige Cox 2-0-0-0, Dryden 2-0-0-0, Kessler 2-0-0-0, Team 5-3-4-3.
Extra Base Hits: Applegate 2B, DeAtley 2B
Peebles Pitching: Penn 7 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 14 K
Robinson (L) 0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
Manchester Pitching: T. Meade 5 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 11 K
Kaulen Cox (W) 3 IP, 1 H, o R, 1 BB, 5 K