After suffering a season-opening loss to Fairfield and then sitting idly for nearly 10 days waiting for the weather to cooperate, Coach Judd Johnson and his Peebles Indians baseball squad played host to the West Union Dragons last Thursday afternoon and at day’s end, the Indians had evened their record at 1-1, getting a complete game pitching performance from Brady Johnson to down the Dragons 5-1.
Johnson was dominant on the hill, allowing just one hit and striking out 10 in his seven innings of work. At the plate, first baseman John Penn stroked three hits in four at bats as the Indians used a three-run sixth to break open a tight contest.
“Today was a good win for our team,” said Coach Johnson. “Defensively, we made the routine plays and offensively we put the ball in play and put pressure on West Union and they made some defensive mistakes that we took advantage of.”
While Johnson was firing bullets from the mound for Peebles, he was being matched by hard-throwing right hander Kyle Taylor for West Union. For three and a half innings the game was scoreless, but the Indians broke through in their half of the fourth.
Johnson walked, Penn singled, and Tyler Fenner singled to load the bases. One out later, a walk to Clay Brown forced home the game’s first run.
In their next at-bat, the Indians added another run with the use of a little “small ball.” Alex Seaman led off with a walk, stole second, and went to third on a Johnson ground out. A base hit by Penn brought Seaman home and gave Peebles a 2-0 lead.
The Dragons got one of those back in the top of the sixth without the benefit of a hit, the only time they could score off Johnson in the entire game. With one out, Taylor drew a walk, one of five the the Peebles starter issued. An error got Taylor to second and after a walk to Brandon Daniel, Taylor scampered home on a Lance Holbrook ground out to second, making it 2-1.
The Indians got some much needed breathing room in the bottom of the sixth, scoring three times to take a 5-1 advantage. With one away, Jack Behr reached on an error as did Joe McElwee, the eight and nine hole hitters in the Peebles lineup. Back to the top of the order, Seaman was hit by a pitch to fill the bases. Land Hanson grounded into a fielder’s choice at second that allowed Behr to score, a Johnson base hit plated McElwee, and a Penn base hit scored Hanson.
In the seventh, the Dragons managed one base runner but Johnson slammed the door, getting Zach Hawes and James McCoy for the final two outs to give the Indians win number one by the final count of 5-1.
Evening their record at 1-1, the Indians got a nice complete game effort from Johnson, 10 strikeouts and no earned runs. Taylor threw the ball well for West Union (1-2), striking out 10 also in just six innings of work, but was saddled with the tough luck loss. Taylor also had the only hit for the Dragons, a first inning double.
“We worked the count and just had better at-bats today,” said Coach Johnson. “Brady was dominant on the mound and Taylor pitched really well for West Union. It was a classic pitcher’s duel until we pushed across those three runs in the sixth. Brady only allowed two balls out of the infield the entire game.”
“Hopefully the kids will gain some confidence from this win and move on from here.”
Both teams faced busy weeks ahead, with the Indians scheduled to travel to Greenfield McClain on Monday, to Manchester on Tuesday, to Ripley tomorrow, and then finally back home to host Lynchburg on Friday.
West union was slated to travel to Manchester on Monday, to Lynchburg on Tuesday, and then host those same Mustangs on Thursday in an odd scheduling quirk.
Mark Carpenter can be reached at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.
W. UNION 000 001 0 —1
PEEBLES000 113 x —5
W. Union Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Stephenson 3-0-0-0, Shelton 2-0-0-0, Blevins 1-0-0-0, Taylor 2-1-1-0,
Daniel 3-0-0-0, Holbrook 3-0-0-1, Hostetter 3-0-0-0, Fox 1-0-0-0, Hawes 3-0-0-0, McCoy 3-0-0-0, Team 24-1-1-1.
Extra-Base Hits: Taylor 2B
Peebles Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Seaman 2-1-1-0, Hanson 4-1-0-0, Johnson 3-0-1-1, Penn 4-1-3-1, Fenner 3-0-1-0,
R. Brown 3-0-0-0, C. Brown 2-0-0-1, Behr 3-1-0-0, McElwee 3-1-0-0, Team 27-5-6-3.
W. Union Pitching: Taylor (L) 6 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 10 K
Peebles Pitching: Johnson (W) 7 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 10 K