Leader Blues

Friday, July 25, 2008

SPORTS>>Bruinsí battle goes to Red team in a rout

By KELLY FENTON
Leader sports editor

It was American Legionís version of the Civil War and for a while, and it seemed it would last just as long.

But despite getting just five hits, the Sylvan Hills Red team mercy-ruled their Sylvan Hills Blue brethren with a 13-2 win in the opening round of the Zone 3 tournament at Burns Park on Thursday afternoon.

Receiving eight walks, six hit batsmen and two errors, Sylvan Hills Red didnít really need to put their bats on the ball too many times to do their damage. One of the five hits was a decisive one Ė Mark Turpinís third-inning grand slam during Redís 6-run third that broke the game wide open and extended a 5-0 lead to 11-0.

Turpinís slam over the fence in left-center, though only Redís second hit of the game, put them up 9-0, and followed walks to Garrett Eller and Justin Treece and a hit-by-pitch to Cody Cormier. Turpin drove in six runs.

After D.J. Baxendale walked following the slam, Blue starter Blake Rixís day came to an end. Ross Bogard greeted reliever Mike Lock with a single and Clint Thornton followed with a 2-run double.

Rix allowed only two hits over 2 2/3 innings, but walked seven and hit three. Lock finished the game off for Blue, and gave up three hits over 4 1/3 innings. He walked only one, but hit three more Red batters.

Brandon Chastain went the distance with seven innings of 4-hit ball. He recorded nine strikeouts and no earned runs, while walking just one.

Sylvan Hills Red advanced to the second round of the winnerís bracket and played Russellville yesterday in a game concluded after Leader deadlines. Blueís season came to an end when they lost a late 8-4 lead to fall to Gwatney 16-12 in an elimination game on Friday morning.

Red took advantage of three walks, a hit batsman and a dropped fly ball to score three runs without benefit of a hit in the first inning, then added two more runs without a hit in the second, though Ross Bogard picked up their first hit with a 2-out triple in the inning.

Red scored their final two runs in the sixth to invoke the 10-run-after-7-inning mercy rule. Zone tournament games are nine innings. Eller reached on an error, Matt Rugger walked and Cormier was hit with a pitch to load the bases. Treeceís sacrifice fly and Turpinís double made it 13-2.

Blueís two runs were both unearned. An error, a Korey Arnold single, another error and Lockís sacrifice fly plated two, but Blue had only two more base runners the rest of the way Ė Ryan Dillon singled and Rix reached on an error in the fifth. Chastain set down the final eight Blue batters in order.