Elks' early stampede stands up in 5-1 win
The Lewisburg Elks scored five times in the first inning versus Marshall Medical Center (MMC) in Monday night's second game on opening night of the 2011 Babe Ruth League season and starting pitcher Aaron Hobbs, with some solid help from reliever Jacob Graves made it stand up in a 5-1 win.
Hobbs went four innings for the win and gave up one earned run on four hits, while striking out six, walking three, and hitting one MMC batter.
Graves came in with a runner on first base in the top of the fifth and pitched three innings of scoreless ball, while giving up three hits and whiffing five to earn the opening night save.
Hobbs led off the ballgame with a sharp single up the middle and scampered over to third on a base hit by Graves.
Hobbs came across to score on a wild throw before MMC got out number one on a line drive to shortstop Ethan Poteete.
Back-to-back RBI hits by Jacob Griffis and Bubba Houghton made it a 3-0 ballgame and two errors on MMC gave the Elks a 5-0 lead, going to the home half of the first.
Connor Bush banged a hit to lead off the at bat for MMC and stole second, but was picked off when he wandered off the second base bag.
Hobbs buckled down with two strikeouts sandwiched between a base on balls to end the inning.
Hunter Thomas set down the Elks 1-2-3 in the second, and in the bottom of the inning, Poteete and Lane Whitsell cracked consecutive hits before Hobbs ended the frame the same way as he did the first.
Neither pitcher would surrender another hit until Matt Calender led off the Elks' fifth with a single to left field.
Thomas beaned Graves and Houghton moved both runners up to second and third on a sacrifice bunt before MMC third sacker Jay Murphy snared a line drive off the bat of Chandler Harmon and stepped on the bag for the inning ending double play.
In the bottom of the inning, Hobbs walked Chase Hensley to begin the inning before Elks manager Steve Hobbs went to the hill and brought in Graves.
After a strikeout, Bush singled to left to put runners on second and third.
Zack Gordon laid down a perfect squeeze bunt that scored Hensley, before Graves struck out the next batter looking to squelch the threat.
Over the next two innings, both pitchers set down the side 1-2-3 each time and the game ended with the Elks winning by the four-run margin.
After the five-run first inning, Thomas was spectacular as the submarining righty gave up just one more hit the rest of the way, while striking five.