Straughn sweeps Highland Home
It was a tale of two games, but most doubleheaders are.
Straughn swept the visiting Highland Home Flying Squadron in high school baseball action Tuesday with a blowout win in the first game and a come-from-behind, nail-biting victory in the second game.
The Straughn Tigers won the first game by a landslide outscoring Highland Home 11-1 in six innings.
Justin Bracewell started the first game on the mound for the Tigers and got the win. He pitched four innings and allowed one run on two hits and three walks while striking out seven. The Squadron's lone run actually came on one hit via a solo home run in the top of the third inning.
Justin Clark came in to pitch in the top of the fifth inning and went two innings. He did not allow a hit or a run walking one and striking out one.
Straughn blew the game open in the bottom of the second inning with seven runs for a 7-0 lead.
Bart Beam started off the Straughn half of the second with a single. Daniel Turner was then awarded first when he was hit by a pitch.
Justin Bracewell was the next batter and he reached on a fielder's choice when Turner was retired at second base on a force out. Beam scored on the play when Highland Home attempted to convert a double play. When the first baseman did not catch the throw from the second baseman Beam raced home for a 1-0 lead.
Dustin Hinson followed Bracewell and hit the ball toward first where it was booted on a hit-and-run play to put Daniel Beckworth (as a courtesy runner for Bracewell) on third and Hinson on first. Hinson stole second and when the ball got past the Highland Home second baseman Beckworth
scored from third.
Cas Sasser kept the rally going with an RBI single to plate Hinson. Jamie Straughn followed with a double to right center field to put runners on second and third for Justin Clark. He flied out to center for the second out of the inning.
Chris Watts followed Clark in the batting order and reached on a walk to load the bases. Brent Hinds dug in at the plate and ripped the ball to left field where it was booted and Sasser and Straughn raced home to score. Hinds advanced to second on the play.
Beam batted for the second time in the inning and came through with a two-RBI single to stretch the Tigers' lead to 7-0. Highland Home got out of the inning when the next batter struck out.
The Squadron answered with one run in the top of the third inning on a solo home run. It would be the only run of the game for Highland Home.
Straughn went on top 8-1 in the bottom of the third inning when Sasser reached on a double and scored on an error by the Highland Home shortstop.
Hinds added another run for Straughn in the fourth when he reached on a single, moved to second on a passed ball, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored when Beam grounded out to the first baseman.
Straughn needed two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to end the game via the mercy rule, but only scored one run and left the bases loaded. Hinson scored after reaching on an infield single. He scored on a RBI-single by Clark.
Turner ended the game in the bottom of the sixth when he turned on a pitch and blasted it over the outfield wall for a solo home run and an 11-1 win.
Straughn Head Coach Mike Buckelew went with a different line-up in the second game playing most of his younger players. The Tigers fell behind early, but battled back for a 4-3 victory.
Highland Home jumped on top taking a 2-0 lead after one run in the top of the second and a solo home run by D.J. Chambers in the top of the third.
Straughn battled back and went on top 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth when Jeff Bass, Dustin Worley and Justin Bracewell scored. Clark had an RBI-single in the inning. Watts had a two-RBI double.
Chambers scored his second run of the game for the Squadron in the top of the sixth inning to knot the score at 3-3.
The game remained tied at 3-3 until the bottom of the seventh when the Tigers won the game.
Watts scored the winning run after reaching base on an fielder's choice and stealing second and third. Highland Home gave Hinds a free pass with an intentional pass to put runners on first and third for the Tigers after Watts swiped third.
Hinds made a move to second and when Highland Home tried to pick him off, Watts raced home to score the winning run.
Chad Bracewell started the game on the mound for the Tigers and went four innings. He allowed two runs on four hits and one walk. He struck out three. Watts was the winning pitcher coming in as a reliever in the fifth inning. he went three innings and allowed one run on one hit and one walk. He also struck out three.