Last Saturday evening was an absolutely perfect evening for baseball as the Manchester Greyhounds and the team known as Peebles 2 met on the diamond at the Peebles Knothole complex in “A” league action. The story of the night turned out to be the Manchester bats and the right arm of the Greyhounds’ Kaulen Cox as Manchester jumped ahead early and posted a 10-0 win, their second in as many tries.
The Greyhound offense banged out 14 hits and scored in all but one at-bat to back the outstanding work of the right hander Cox, who hurled a complete game two-hit shutout, striking out nine Peebles hitters along the way.
Manchester struck early, getting three gift runs in the first inning off Peebles starter Aaron Maddy, as the Indian defense did little to help their pitcher. After Maddy retired the first two hitters, the Hounds’ Nathan Davis beat out a bunt single, stole second, and came home on a base hit to left by Nick Hoskins. The ball got by the Peebles left fielder, allowing Hoskins to move all the way to third.
Hoskins came home when Mason Applegate’s ground ball back to Maddy was thrown wildly to first base. Applegate then raced home when Cole Roades doubled to right and the visiting Greyhounds had a 3-0 advantage after their first at-bat.
On the hill for Manchester, Cox walked a pair in the bottom of the first but rebounded to get Brennan Sims on a pop up to short and strike out Troy Rawlins to end the frame.
The Hounds added another run in the top of the second when Kaulen Cox was hit by a pitch and brother Kaige followed with a walk. Rickey DeAtley laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runners up and a walk to Jordan Carpenter loaded the bases. After Kaulen Cox was thrown out at home on a steal attempt, a base hit to left by Davis plated Kaige and gave Manchester a 4-0 lead.
In the top of the third, the visitors padded their lead again by scoring two more. With one out, Roades and Jase Thatcher both singled to left, before Roades was forced at third on a ground ball back to the mound by Kaulen Cox. Again, the Hounds performed some two-out magic when Kaige Cox blooped a single to right, scoring Thatcher and Kaulen Cox raced home when the right fielder misplayed the ball, making it 6-0.
Peebles 2 had their biggest threat to that point and of the game in the bottom of the third when Ben Figgins led off with a line drive double down the left field line and Joe McElwee followed with single to short center which moved Figgins to third. McElwee promptly stole second, giving the Indians runners at second and third with no out, but Cox was up to the challenge. The Manchester righty struck out Sierra Stone looking, got Maddy on a chopper in front of the plate fielded by Hoskins, and then struck out Sims looking to get out of the jam unscathed.
Again in the top of the fourth, the Hounds struck after two were out. Carpenter grounded out to first on a nice play by Peebles first baseman Jacob Vaughn and Davis popped out to Vaughn for the second out. Hoskins then singled up the middle, stole second, and moved to third when Applegate legged out an infield hit. When the throw to first went awry, Hoskins raced home to make it 7-0. That brought Roades to the plate and he delivered with yet another base hit, scoring Applegate and giving the Hounds an eight-run cushion.
Meanwhile Cox was rolling on the mound, striking out the side in the fourth and getting a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth. His offense added another run in the top of the fifth off of Peebles reliever Austin Fuentes on an RBI hit by DeAtley and Fuentes was bailed out of further trouble when his infield turned a nice 4-6-3 double play to close the stanza.
The Hounds got a lead off triple to right by Applegate in the top of the sixth but could not get him home, even after a pair of walks filled the bases. Even with the big lead, it could have been a lot worse as Manchester left 13 runners on base in the game.
Peebles got a lead off base runner in their half of the sixth when Kaitlin Toller drew a walk but she was picked off first base and Cox then got Fuentes on a pop to third and Jack Behr on a long fly ball to center that was corralled by DeAtley. The final run of the game for Manchester came in the top of the seventh when a fielder’s choice ground out by Applegate scored Davis, who had earlier walked and moved to third on another Hoskins base hit.
With three outs left to finish a complete game shutout, Cox walked lead off hitter Rawlings to begin the bottom of the seventh, but he was erased on a fielder’s choice ground ball to short off the bat of Noah Kreml. Kreml was then wiped from the base paths when he was thrown out stealing by Hoskins for the second out and by coaxing a ground out to short off the bat of Jake Griffis, Cox could celebrate an outstanding performance, completing the two-hit shutout in a 10-0 Manchester victory.
Cox went all seven for the win, giving up just the two hits in the third inning, striking out 9 and walking 5. At the plate, the Greyhounds 3-6 hitters (Davis, Hoskins, Applegate, and Roades) combined for 10 hits and five runs batted in. Hoskins and Roades each had three hits as part of that 14-hit attack.
Aaron Maddy went the first four innings for Peebles and was saddled with the loss, though just four of the eight runs he allowed were of the earned variety. Austin Fuentes pitched the final three and gave up just one earned run and struck out five.
The Greyhounds moved to 2-0 on the season and were back in action on Monday night, facing a very tough Peebles 1 team. Unfortunately, the game was washed out in bottom of the first inning and was rescheduled for Tuesday night. Look for the results of that contest in a future issue of The People’s Defender. Peebles 2 was rained out also on Monday night as they hosted West Union 1 and they will be back in action tonight, playing host to Peebles 1.
Mark Carpenter can be reached at 937-544-2391 and on Twitter at 937-544-2391.
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Manchester Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): DeAtley 4-0-1-1, Carpenter 3-0-0-0, Davis 4-2-2-1, Hoskins 5-2-3-1, Applegate 5-2-2-1, Roades 4-0-3-2, Thatcher 4-1-1-0, Kaulen Cox 1-2-0-0, Kaige Cox 3-1-2-1, Team 33-10-14-7.
Extra-Base Hits: Roades 2B, Applegate 3B
Peebles 2 Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): McElwee 3-0-1-0, Stone 1-0-0-0, Toller 0-0-0-0, Maddy 1-0-0-0, Fuentes 1-0-0-0, Sims 2-0-0-0, Behr 1-0-0-0, Rawlings 2-0-0-0, Kreml 3-0-0-0, Vaughn 2-0-0-0, Griffis 3-0-0-0, Figgins 2-0-1-0, Team 21-0-2-0.
Extra-Base Hits: Figgins 2B
Manchester Pitching: Kaulen Cox (W) 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 9 K, 95 pitches.
Peebles 2 Pitching: Maddy (L) 4 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 80 pitches.
Fuentes 3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 K, 66 pitches.