Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
Though very warm summer-like weather came to the county by mid-week, Monday, April 24 in Seaman brought chilly and windy conditions as two county baseball squads met in a non-conference affair. The host North Adams Green Devils, who find themselves right in the thick of the race in the Southern Hills Athletic conference’s small school division, welcomed to town the West Union Dragons, who themselves are trying to make some noise in the SHAC.
With a non-league game, the pressure to win was not quite as strong, but every team still gets some pleasure out of beating a county rival. On this day, it was the Green Devils who prevailed in a big way as pitchers Bryant Lung and Tyler Horsley combined on a one-hit shutout and the home team claimed a 10-0 run rule win in five innings.
“I was pleased with the way our kids approached the game today,” said North Adams head coach Rob Meade. “Being a non-league game, we moved some people around and got some kids at-bats that hopefully will get them moving in the right direction as we get closer to tournament play.”
The Devils struck early and often on Monday, getting eight of their runs in their first two at-bats. The scoring began in the bottom of the first when Bryant Lung led off with a solid single to left off of West Union starter Cody Thornberry. Lung stole second and went to the third when the throw sailed into center field. Elijah Young followed with a walk and both he and Lung came home when a ground ball off the bat of Austin Parks was thrown wildly to first by Dragons’ third baseman Casey Mullenix. Parks swiped second and came home on a base hit to center by Dalton Gardner that made it 3-0.
North Adams starter Bryant Lung set the Dragons down in order in the top of the second and his offense immediately went back to work, with a Bryant Lung single bringing home Colt Shumaker to make it 4-0. A later run-scoring hit by Parks brought home the fifth run for the Devils, but they weren’t finished.
A bases loaded walk to Seth Daulton and a second RBI single by Gardner gave the home side a seven-run advantage and they added one more in the frame when Ben Figgins also drew a free pass with the bases jammed that made it 8-0.
Lung continued to roll through the West Union hitters with a 1-2-3 third, on his way to four hitless, scoreless innings and his second win of the spring.
The Devils added one in the bottom of the third on yet another run-scoring hit by Gardner and finished off their scoring with one run in walk-off run rule fashion in the bottom of the fifth for the 10-0 triumph that improved their record to 8-4 on the season.
Right hander Tyler Horsley pitched the top of the fifth for the Devils, and gave up the only West Union hit of the night, a base hit by Mullenix, but Horsley retired the next three hitters in succession.
Lung was the winning pitcher, lowering his ERA on the spring to 2.14, while Thornberry was pinned with the loss for the Dragons, giving up six earned runs in three innings of work.
Dalton Gardner was the big stick in the North Adams lineup, going a perfect 3 for 3 and knocking in three runs. Austin Parks also drove home three in a nine-hit Devils’ attack.
The loss dropped West Union to 5-9 on the year.
Both teams were back in action on Tuesday afternoon, with the Devils staying tied for the top spot in the SHAC small school division (and moving to 10-4 on the year) with a 10-2 win over Whiteoak, while the Dragons dropped a conference contest to Eastern Brown 9-6.
000 00 –0
351 01 –10
W. Union Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Rothwell 1-0-0-0, G. Grooms 1-0-0-0, Kramer 2-0-0-0, Cornell 1-0-0-0, Fenton 1-0-0-0, Carson 1-0-0-0, Weeks 2-0-0-0, D. Grooms 2-0-0-0, Mullenix 2-0-1-0, Thornberry 1-0-0-0, Blevins 1-0-0-0, Team 15-0-1-0.
N. Adams Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): B. Lung 4-2-2-1, Shupert 2-1-0-0, Horsley 1-1-1-0, Young 1-3-0-0, Parks 2-2-1-3, Daulton 2-0-1-2, Gill 0-0-0-0, Gardner 3-0-3-3, Figgins 2-0-0-1, N. Lung 2-0-1-0, Osborne 1-0-0-0, Shumaker 2-1-0-0, Williams 1-0-0-0, Team 23-10-9-10.
Extra-Base Hits: Horsley 2B
W. Union Pitching: Thornberry (L) 3 IP, 7 H, 9 R, 6 ER, 7 BB, 3 K, 99 pitches
Blevins 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 29 pitches
N. Adams Pitching: B. Lung (W) 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K, 65 pitches
Horsley 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 K, 12 pitches