It began with a downpour from the skies and ended in the bright sunshine and in the meantime proved to be one of the more exciting Knothole baseball games in the area thus far this summer. The unbeaten Peebles 1 squad played host to the once-defeated Manchester Greyhounds in Class “A” action Saturday afternoon in Peebles. The game began as a pitcher’s duel and ended up in a back and forth flurry of big plays on offense and defense, before the Hounds rallied from a 3-0 deficit to pull of a 5-4 win in extra innings.
After a steady shower from the skies made the beginning of the game look to be in doubt, the rains dissipated and the two teams took to the muddy field with Alex Seaman on the mound for Peebles and he turned in quite a yeoman’s effort, going eight innings and striking out 10 Manchester hitters.
For the Hounds, it was righty Cole Roades getting the start and he was also sharp, allowing just one earned run in his five innings of work. After a disastrous first pitch, Manchester reliever Rickey DeAtley was superb in picking up the win with three innings of work and six K’s.
Seaman retired the first six hitters he faced whole Roades had to work out of a second inning jam as the two teams went to the third inning scoreless. Singles by the Cox brothers, Kaulen and Kaige, posed a third inning threat for Manchester but Seaman struck out the final two hitters to leave two stranded.
Peebles broke the ice in their half of the third, picking up a pair of scores. With one out, Stephen Penn drew a walk and eventually ended up on third where he scored on a base hit to left by Daniel Wolford. Wolford went to second on a wild pitch and came home when a ground ball to shortstop off the bat of John Penn was thrown wildly to first and Peebles had the 2-0 advantage.
Manchester threatened in the top of the fourth when Arturo Hernandez walked, Mason Applegate singled, and Roades reached on an error to load the bases with two outs. Kaulen Cox then hit a ground ball in the direction of shortstop Wolford and after much discussion, the umpires ruled Applegate out on runner’s interference to end the inning and keep the Hounds scoreless.
Manchester put together another threat in the top of the fifth but again Seaman was up to the task. With two outs, Daniel Hernandez walked and Rickey Deatley reached on an error by center fielder Austin Newkirk. Newkirk made up for the mistake in a big way as he tracked down the ball and threw out DeAtley as the Greyhound runner attempted to reach second base.
Peebles added to their lead in the bottom half of the fifth after Roades retired the first two hitters. Seaman reached on an error and came home when Wolford laced one down the third base line for a run-scoring double that made it 3-0.
The Greyhounds finally broke through against Seaman in the top of the sixth to tie the game. Jordan Carpenter led off with a base hit to center and stole second, then moved to third on a wild pitch. Arturo Hernandez drew a walk and one out later, Applegate singled to right to score Carpenter with Hernandez moving to third. After Roades went down swinging for the second out, Kaulen Cox poked a base hit to right to bring home Hernandez and Applegate and tie the game at 3 apiece.
That tie lasted the whole of just one pitch. With the southpaw DeAtley on in relief for the Hounds in the bottom of the sixth, John Penn came to the plate as the lead off hitter and found the first pitch he saw much to his liking, hitting a blast over the left field fence for a solo homer and a 4-3 Peebles lead. The damage later in the stanza could have been worse if not for a nice play by Manchester left fielder Jase Thatcher, who threw out Austin Newkirk at home for the final out of the inning.
The Greyhounds came back to tie the game in the top of the seventh. After the first two batters were retired, things looked gloomy for the visitors who were down to their final out, but DeAtley was hit by a pitch and managed to get in scoring position by stealing second. That brought Carpenter to the plate and he came through big time in the clutch, blasting a two-out triple over the head of the right fielder, scoring DeAtley easily to tie the game at 4. Seaman struck out the next hitter and the game went to the bottom of the seventh with Peebles needing one to win.
DeAtley struck out the first two hitters in the bottom of the seventh but Seaman lifted a long fly ball to center that was misplayed, leaving the winning run on second base. With the dangerous Wolford now at the plate, DeAtley ran the count to 1-2 before getting a called third strike to send the game to extra innings.
Manchester came all the way back in the top of the eighth with Seaman still on the mound to take their first lead of the game. Nick Hoskins led off the frame with a double to center and promptly attempted to steal third base. When the catcher’s throw went awry, Hoskins came home with the go-ahead run.The Hounds followed that with base hits from Roades and Kaulen Cox but some nice defensive work by Peebles third baseman Ryan Brown got Seaman out of the inning with no further damage.
In the bottom of the eighth , DeAtley got Ryan Brown on a pop up to second and then faced John Penn for the second time. This time the lefty was more cautious, walking the big first baseman on five pitches. DeAtley got Clay Brown swinging and then Austin Newkirk on a fly ball to left field and the Hounds had pulled off a come-from-behind 5-4 victory.
DeAtley got the win in relief while Seaman, despite an outstanding effort, took the loss. The Hounds got 10 hits in the game, three from Kaulen Cox and two each from Jordan Carpenter and Mason Applegate. Peebles had six hits in the contest, two each from Daniel Wolford and John Penn, including Penn’s sixth inning homer.
Both teams now have just one loss in “A” league play and depending on outcomes until then, will face off Saturday morning at 10 a.m. in Manchester in a game that could decide the league champion. The “A” League tournament is scheduled to begin next Monday night with games in Peebles and West Union. That opening round match ups have yet to be determined.
Mark Carpenter can be reached at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.
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Manchester Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): DeAtley 3-1-0-0, Carpenter 4-1-2-1. A. Hernandez 2-1-0-0, Hoskins 4-1-1-0, Applegate 4-1-2-1, Roades 4-0-1-0, Kaulen Cox 4-0-3-2, Thatcher 4-0-0-0, Kaige Cox 4-0-1-0, D. Hernandez 2-0-0-0, Team 35-5-10-4.
Extra-Base Hits: Hoskins 2B, Carpenter 3B
Peebles 1 Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Seaman 4-1-0-0, Wolford 4-1-2-2, R. Brown 3-0-0-0, J. Penn 3-1-2-1, C. Brown 4-0-0-0, A. Newkirk 3-0-1-0, Lightner 3-0-1-0, Jones 2-0-0-0, L. Newkirk 3-0-0-0, Bowman 3-0-0-0, S. Penn 2-1-0-0, Team 34-4-6-3.
Extra-Base Hits: Wolford 2B, J. Penn HR
Manchester Pitching: Roades 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 85 pitches.
DeAtley (W) 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 55 pitches.
Peebles 1 Pitching: Seaman (L) 8 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 10 K, 120pitches.