In a carbon copy on what was going on across the way on Monday on the softball field, the baseball action at North Adams saw one bad inning doom the home team to defeat. Coach Rob Meade and his Green Devils welcomed the Fayetteville Rockets to town and saw the Rockets put up a huge six-run third inning on their way to edging past the Devils in eight innings 8-7.
“That third inning just killed us,” said Coach Meade. “Fayetteville put the bat on the ball and we made some crucial mistakes defensively. That bad combination gave them six runs and we never fully recovered.”
On the mound to start the game were Mikey Sheeley for the Devils and Casey Boyer for Fayetteville. Sheeley only lasted three innings, but Boyer went all eight in a 134 pitch complete game winning effort.
After Sheeley hurled a scoreless first, the Devils busted out with three runs in their half. Sheeley led off with a line drive single to center off Boyer and Austin Copas followed with an infield hit to third. A base hit to left by Hank Sparks drove home Sheeley with the game’s first run and a base hit to center by Cody Hall drove Copas across and made it 2-0. An infield hit by Devin Gardner moved Sparks to third and he came home when Ethan Brown’s ground ball to second was booted and the home team had a quick 3-0 advantage.
Neither side scored in their next at-bat but that quickly changed when the Rockets came to the plate in the top of the third. Scottie Mullis and Tanner Fowler started the frame with base hits and the pitcher Boyer helped his own cause with a double to left field that brought both runners home. Max Iles followed with another two-bagger to left and in the blink of an eye, the game was tied.
Iles moved to third when Dion Barber reached safely on an error and another error brought Iles home and gave the Rockets the lead. A third North Adams miscue of the inning allowed two more runs to cross, giving the visitors a 6-3 lead.
Now playing come-from-behind, the Devils did bounce back and plate two in their half of the third. Back to back doubles by Hall and Gardner scored one and a sacrifice fly by Kenny Branch brought home another to make it a one-run affair after three full at 6-5.
That early scoring pace slowed down as Boyer settled down and reliever Austin Copas came on for North Adams. The only run that Copas allowed came in the Rockets’ fifth when Boyer drove home his third run of the game to make it 7-5.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Devils sliced that margin in half on a run-scoring single by Sheeley and then tied the game in their half of the seventh when Hall singled and raced home when Branch reached safely on a Fayetteville error, sending the game to extra innings all even at 7 apiece.
Right hander Caleb Wagers had pitched a scoreless seventh for the Green Devils and came back to the mound for the top of the eighth. Fowler led off with a walk, went to second when Wagers was called for a balk, and scored on a double to center by Iles to give the Rockets an 8-7 lead.
With one more shot to keep their hopes alive, the Devils came to the plate in the bottom of the eighth with Boyer still hanging tough on the mound for the Rockets. Sheeley reached on an error to lead off the inning, but Wagers, Sparks, and Hall went down in order, leaving the runner stranded and sealing the 8-7 win for Fayetteville.
“We gave ourselves a chance putting some runners on in the late innings,” said Coach Meade. “We just never came up with that clutch hit to put us over the top.”
Eight innings of yeoman’s work earned the win for Boyer, as he was touched up for 15 hits and four earned runs. The Rocket righty struck out seven and did not walk a single hitter. Wagers took the loss in relief for North Adams, giving up the game-deciding run in the eighth.
At the plate for the Devils, Sheeley and Hall each pounded out three hits, with Gardner and Copas getting two each as part of the 15-hit attack. The Rockets banged out 12 hits, three each from Boyer and Iles and a pair from Crone and Fowler.
The loss dropped the Green Devils to 3-5 on the year, 2-2 in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference.
Mark Carpenter can be reached at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.
006 010 01 —8
302 001 10 —7
Fayetteville Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Fowler 4-2-2-0, Boyer 4-1-3-3, Iles 4-1-3-2, Shaw 4-0-0-0, Barber 4-1-0-0, Meyer 5-1-1-0, Burroughs 4-0-0-0, Kingus 0-1-0-0, Crone 4-0-2-0, Mullis 4-1-1-0, Team 37-8-12-5.
Extra-Base Hits: Boyer 2B, Iles 2B (2)
N. Adams Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Sheeley 5-1-3-1, Copas 3-1-2-0, C. Meade 1-0-1-0, Wagers 1-0-0-0, Sparks 5-1-1-1, Anderson 5-0-1-0, Hall 5-2-3-1, Gardner 4-1-2-1, Brown 4-0-1-0, Branch 4-0-1-1, Figgins 0-1-0-0, Bradley 2-0-0-0, Davis 2-0-0-0, Team 41-7-15-5.
Extra-Base Hits: Gardner 2B, Hall 2B
Fayetteville Pitching: Boyer (W) 8 IP, 15 H, 7 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 134 pitches.
N. Adams Pitching: Sheeley 3 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 63 pitches.
Copas 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 57 pitches.
Wagers (L) 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 34 pitches.