Elks defeat A-Plus Collision Center in season opener

Friday, May 25, 2012
Elks second baseman Carson Walker throws out A-Plus Collision Center's Dallas Wright at first base in the top of the fifth inning. Photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

With rain postponing the first two games of the season on Monday, the Marshall County Babe Ruth League kicked off its 2012 campaign on Tuesday, as 12-time defending champ Lewisburg Elks Lodge defeated A-Plus Collision Center 10-4 in six innings at Jonathan D. Hollingsworth Field in the opening game of the night.

Although they mustered only five hits in the contest, the Elks displayed patience at the plate and drew 11 walks against three APCC pitchers. A-Plus Collision also aided the Elks cause by committing four errors.

"We played real well in our final preseason tournament game so I thought we'd play better tonight, but we made too many mistakes," said APCC coach Mike Bailey. "We didn't get enough key hits, made too many errors, and issued too many walks."

A-Plus Collision Center second baseman Brett McGeehee scoops up a ground ball before throwing out the Elks' Derek McKnight at first base in the bottom of the first inning.

Wilson Limbaugh, Ben Taylor, starting pitcher Curt Taylor, Jamie Crowell, and Iendi Biggers tallied one hit apiece for the Elks with Limbaugh and Ben Taylor driving in one run apiece.

A-Plus Collision drew eight walks against three Elk hurlers, but notched only two hits overall. Dunn Crowder and Ethan Evans each singled to account for both APCC hits.

Curt Taylor picked up the victory on the mound, allowing just one hit and two walks in three scoreless innings of work to go along with four strikeouts. Limbaugh came on in relief of Taylor in the fourth and gave up four runs on one hit and five walks over two-thirds of an inning. Will Johnson pitched the final two and one-third innings for the Elks and yielded only one walk during that span.

"We played a good game for a season opener, but we still have a lot of things to work on," said Elks coach Mike Tatum. "Curt threw the ball well and we were able to get some of our younger players in the game."

A-Plus Collision starting pitcher Jody Sullivan suffered the loss after giving up seven runs on two hits and seven walks over two and one-third innings.

The Elks jumped on APCC early by pushing across two runs in the bottom of the first inning with the help of a Ben Taylor single, an error, two wild pitches, a pair of walks from Chandler Harmon and Curt Taylor, and a Derek McKnight RBI groundout to grab a 2-0 lead.

In the second inning, the Elks took advantage of some more A-Plus Collision miscues and plated three runs in the frame thanks to an error, three walks, and two wild pitches to open up a 5-0 cushion.

The Elks then tallied two runs in the third on the strength of two walks, a Curt Taylor single, a passed ball, and a RBI groundout by J.D. Crabtree to extend their lead to 7-0.

APCC got back into the contest in the top of the fourth by crossing home plate four times in the frame to narrow the gap to 7-4. Following a leadoff single by Crowder, Limbaugh issued walks to Sullivan and Dallas Wright to load the bases with no outs. Zach Smith, Evans, Brett McGeehee, and Logan Bailey then drew bases loaded walks to slice the deficit to three.

After leaving two runners in scoring position in the bottom of the fourth, the Elks pushed their lead to 8-4 when Curt Taylor scored on a A-Plus Collision throwing error.

The Elks notched two more runs in the sixth inning on a Limbaugh RBI single and a bases loaded walk by Ben Taylor to open up a 10-4 advantage before the game was called due to the new two-hour time limit rule.