Red Level evens season record with win over Pleasant Home

Published 11:00 am Friday, March 8, 2024

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Red Level broke away from a two-run game and needed only five innings to pick up a 13-3 win over Pleasant Home in varsity baseball action on Thursday, March 7.

The Tigers improved to 2-2 on the season, while the Eagles fell to 0-6 for the year.

Brock Skipper retired Pleasant Home in order on just 12 pitches in the top of the first. Red Level then loaded the bases in the bottom half on walks to Buddy Griffin and Connor Blackwell, while Koltin Barlow singled. Tanner Whatley drove home Griffin with the first run on an RBI single. Wyatt Simmons cashed in Blackwell with a two-out single for a 2-0 lead at the end of an inning.

Christopher Butters led off the visiting second with a scorching double. Courtesy runner Alex Scott entered the game and took third on a wild pitch. John Luke Colvin reached on an error as Scott scored and cut the deficit in half. Skipper worked back to get the next two outs and keep the score 2-1. A pitch hit Drake Batson in the home half, and Skipper helped himself with a single to put runners at the corners with no outs. Batson scored off a balk, and Skipper took third on a passed ball. Barlow then grounded out to short but drove home Skipper for a 4-1 lead after two.

Skipper worked fast and had another quick 1-2-3 frame with two strikeouts in the top of the third. Talan Warley took over on the mound in the bottom half and also set down the side in order as the score remained 4-1 with three innings completed.

Jayce Smith started a two-out rally for the Eagles in the top of the fourth with a single. Colvin walked, and both runners moved up on an error. Jackson Sellers kept the inning alive on a ground ball, but an error allowed Smith to score and trim the margin to 4-2. Skipper then earned another strikeout and ended the threat. The Tigers gained some breathing room in their half with a four-spot. Simmons walked and scored the fifth run on a wild pitch. Batson scored off another miscue and pushed the lead to 6-2. Whatley drew a bases-loaded walk that sent K.J. Barlow to the plate. Koltin Barlow capped the inning with an RBI single and brought in Blackwell for an 8-2 lead after four.

Pleasant Home kept chipping away and tried to stay in the game with another run in the visiting fifth. Andrew Clark singled and took second on a sacrifice bunt from Jack Wiggins. After a walk, Clark scored on an error and trimmed the deficit to 8-3. Whatley took over with runners at second and third and just one out. He thwarted the rally there with a strikeout and pop-up before Red Level scored five times and ended the game via the mercy rule. Two walks and a single loaded the bases with one out. Skipper scored on a passed ball before a pitch hit Grayson Hodges. A bases-loaded hit batter and two walks closed out the game at 13-3.

Simmons went 1-for-2 with a run scored and two RBIs for the Tigers. Whatley and Koltin Barlow each finished 1-for-3 with a pair of RBIs. Skipper earned the win and allowed three unearned runs on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.

Clark led the Eagles with a 1-for-2 day and a run scored. Wiggins threw the first two innings on the mound and gave up four runs (three earned) on four hits.

The two teams will meet again on Friday, March 8, at Pleasant Home, weather permitting. After that, they will travel for their next games on Monday, March 11. Pleasant Home heads to McKenzie, while Red Level visits Baker, Florida.