Pleasant Home JV tops Ariton

Published 12:05 am Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Pleasant Home Eagles’ junior varsity baseball team used strong pitching to knock off the Ariton Purple Cats 5-2 on Friday night in the opening round of the Brantley Junior Varsity Baseball Tournament.

In the top of the first inning, the Purple Cats got the first two Eagle batters out before a paif walk and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases.

Ariton was able to get out of the inning with a strikeout.

Ethan Batson started on the mound for the Eagles and quickly got the first two batters out.

Three straight walks followed to load the bases up for the Purple Cats with two outs.

Batson dug deep and got the next batter to strikeout to end the inning.

The Eagles came to bat in the top of the second inning, but the Purple Cats’ pitcher was able to strikeout the side.

In the top of the third inning, Batson led off with a walk and then stole second base one pitch later.

Justin Gibbs followed with a single that moved Batson up to third base.

Batson then came around to score on a wild pitch that moved Gibbs to third base.

Shane Nixon then drove in Gibbs with a single to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead heading in to the bottom of the third inning.

Batson got a hard ground from the first batter in the bottom of the third inning, but an error on the play gave the Purple Cats a base runner.

Batson struck out the next batter and the Purple Cat runner moved up to second base with a steal.

The next batter sent a rocket to right field that seemed destined to find grass, but instead found the glove of a diving Peyton Woodyard for an out.

Batson struck out the next batter to end the threat.

Judd Fuqua came in to pitch for the Eagles in the bottom of the fourth inning and struck out a pair of batters to keep the Eagles in front 2-0 heading into the final frame.

Not wanting to settle for just two runs, the Eagles’ bats sparked in the final inning.

Fuqua reached base after getting plunked by a pitch and then Gibbs crushed a triple to the fence in left field to give the Eagles a 3-0 lead.

Gibbs then scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 4-0.

The final run of the game came when Grant Barton drove in Landon Kelley with a single.

Ariton led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a walk, but Eagle catcher Brennan Douglas threw the runner out trying to steal second.

Another walk and a couple of base hits led to two runs for the Purple Cats, but Batson got the final batter to ground the ball right back to him.

The ball hit off Batson’s chest, but the young pitcher stayed with the ball and fired to first for the final out of the game.

“We won and at the end of the day that’s our goal,” Pleasant Home head coach Chris Mason said. “These guys are learning the game and if we can win while we are doing that it’s a bonus. I’m proud of the way we played tonight. If we keep improving and competing, we can have a really good team.”

The Eagles will be back in action today in Brantley at 11:45 a.m., against Charles Henderson.