By Mark Carpenter
It was a match up of the two of the best pitchers in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference on Monday, April 25 in Manchester as the Greyhounds entertained the North Adams Green Devils. Manchester sent senior Sean Frost to the hill, with the Devils turning to senior Trey Meade. Neither pitcher disappointed, though it was Meade who got the best of the day, firing a sparkling two-hit shutout and fanning 14 Greyhound hitters while walking just one as North Adams claimed its ninth win of the season by a final score of 5-0.
“This was definitely a good win for us,” said North Adams head coach Rob Meade. “We were missing two starters and we adjusted well. Without question, Trey and Sean are two of the top pitchers in the conference and we were looking forward to a good battle. We were able to capitalize on some Manchester mistakes and push some runs across the plate.”
The game was scoreless through three innings, though the Devils mounted a threat in the top of the second, getting two runners on before Frost got Ryan Shupert swinging to keep the zero on the board. The Hounds also got two runners in their half of the second, but Meade worked out of the jam by whiffing both Jacob Calvert and Jared Stricklett.
In the top of the third, the Devils threatened again, loading the bases with two outs on a pair of Manchester errors and a base hit by Meade, but Frost struck out Austin Parks swinging to wiggle out of trouble.
The scoreless tie went by the wayside in the top of the fourth when North Adams scored four times. With one out, Seth Daulton drew a walk, stole second, and scored when a ground ball off the bat of Shupert was misplayed by Hounds’ shortstop Hunter Conley. A base hit by Bryant Lung and a bunt single by Ben Figgins followed to load the bases and the second run of the inning came across when Kenny Branch drew a base on balls.
A wild pitch brought Lung home to make it 3-0 and yet another Manchester error allowed Figgins to score the frame’s fourth tally. Frost threw a scoreless fifth, working around another Greyhound fielding miscue, and was replaced on the mound in the top of the sixth by southpaw Rickey DeAtley, as Frost exited after allowing just two earned run and striking out nine.
Meanwhile, Meade was rolling along, not allowing a hit until back to back singles by Stricklett and Gage Lucas with two out in the bottom of the fifth. The strikeout again got Meade out of trouble as he fanned Conley to end the inning.
The Green Devils added one to their lead off of DeAtley in the top half of the seventh, again taking advantage of shoddy defense by the Greyhounds. With one out, Cole Roades doubled to center and then came home to score the fifth North Adams run of the game when a fly ball to left by Daulton was misplayed for an error.
With the five-run cushion, Meade went to the mound in the bottom of the seventh and immediately ran into difficulty, hitting Kaige Cox and then walking Calvert. The big right hander worked out of trouble once again, striking out Stricklett looking, getting Lucas to hit into a fielder’s choice and then getting Caleb Henschen looking for the game’s final out in a 5-0 North Adams triumph.
“Getting those four runs in the fourth were huge and allowed Trey to go after hitters because of the lead,” added coach Meade. “Today was probably the best Trey has thrown the ball all season. His off-speed stuff was working well all day and he and catcher Kenny Branch got in a groove and were definitely on the same page.”
After Monday’s affair, the rest of the week has been a washout with the Devils ( 9-4) scheduled to continue a suspended game with Peebles on Friday and the Hounds (5-5)scheduled to play a home doubleheader on Saturday with Sciotoville East.
NAHS 000 400 1 —5
MHS 000 000 0 —0
NAHS Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Lung 5-1-1-0, Figgins 4-1-1-0, Branch 2-0-0-1, C. Meade 4-0-1-0, T. Meade 3-0-1-0, Parks 4-0-0-0, Roades 4-1-1-0, Daulton 3-1-0-1, Shupert 4-1-0-1, Team 33-5-5-3.
Extra-Base Hits: Roades 2B
MHS Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Conley 3-0-0-0, Henschen 1-0-0-0, DeAtley 3-0-0-0, Frost 3-0-0-0, Thornburg 2-0-0-0, Applegate 2-0-0-0, Kaige Cox 2-0-0-0, Calvert 2-0-0-0, Stricklett 3-0-1-0, Lucas 3-0-1-0, Team 24-0-2-0
NAHS Pitching: T, Meade (W) 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 14 K, 103 pitches
MHS Pitching: Frost (L) 5 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, 96 pitches
DeAtley 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 K, 26 pitches