Last Thursday afternoon marked the regular season finale for Coach Kyle Brewer and his Manchester Greyhounds baseball squad and knowing their first tournament game was just two days off, Coach Brewer held out his ace pitcher Sean Frost as the Hounds welcomed the Whiteoak Wildcats to town for a Southern Hills Athletic Conference match up.
The game was close throughout before the Cats broke it open with three runs in their final at-bat to capture a 9-4 win. The loss left the young Greyhounds with a 5-13 record for the 2014 regular season, just 1-12 in the SHAC.
With Frost on the shelf until tourney time, Brewer gave the starting nod to freshman right hander Bryan Young, who didn’t pitch badly. In four innings of work, Young allowed just two earned runs as the defensive woes that have plagued the team all season raised their ugly head once more.
The Cats struck first, getting a run in the top of the first, but the Hounds quickly tied it up with one of their own in the bottom half. Sean Frost began the inning with an infield hit, stole second, and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Rickey DeAtley, The small ball approach worked to perfection when Mason Applegate lifted a sacrifice fly that scored Frost to even the score.
The game remained tied at one until the Wildcats came to the plate in the top of the third and plated two to grab a 3-1 advantage. In the bottom half, the Hounds came right back to tie the game again when Applegate and Colton Thornburg raced home on a Whiteoak error and the two teams were back to square one, tied at 3.
The visitors took the lead for good in the top of the fourth when they touched up Young for a pair of runs to take a 5-3 lead. They added to that lead with a single run in the top of the sixth off of DeAtley in relief.
Manchester got one of those runs back in the bottom of the sixth when DeAtley reached via an error and scored on a Tyler Brummett ground out to shortstop.
With Leevi Francis now on the hill for the Hounds, the Wildcats salted the game away in the top of the seventh, taking advantage of three walks to score three times to take a 9-4 lead. That is how the final score ended up as the Greyhounds went down in order in their final regular season at-bats, dropping their finale on their home field.
Mason Applegate and Cole Hensley each banged out two hits for the Greyhounds in the loss, while the trio of Young, DeAtley, and Francis combined to give up eight hits and just three earned runs as the Manchester defense committed five errors.
The Greyhounds did bounce back in a nice way on Saturday in their sectional tournament opener at Eastern Pike. Frost extended his scoreless inning streak to 17 innings as the Hounds won their postseason opener 5-0. That win earned them a trip on Tuesday to Portsmouth Notre Dame and a sectional title game. (Look for full reports on those game in future issues of The People’s Defender.)
Mark Carpenter can be reached at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.
102 201 3 —9
102 001 0 —4
Whiteoak Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Emery 4-3-1-0, Michael 4-2-1-1, Wardlow 2-2-1-1, Williams 3-0-0-0, Jones 5-0-2-1, Meyers 2-1-1-1, Marler 4-0-1-1, Anderson 2-0-1-1, Herzog 1-0-0-0, Burns 4-1-0-0, Team 31-9-8-6.
Manchester Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Frost 4-1-1-0, DeAtley 3-1-0-0, Applegate 3-1-2-1, Brummett 3-0-0-1, Hensley 3-0-2-0, Thornburg 4-1-0-0, Young 3-0-0-0, Hoskins 4-0-1-0, Francis 1-0-1-0, Team 28-4-7-2.
Whiteoak Pitching: Williams 2 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 70 pitches.
Herzog (W) 4 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 47 pitches.
Manchester Pitching: Young (L) 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 3 K, 101 pitches.
DeAtley 1 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 23 pitches.
Francis 2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 39 pitches.