Chapel Hill Farm Center knocks off Elks

Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Chapel Hill Farm Center starting pitcher Tanner Garvin allowed just one run on one hit in four innings of work to help lead his team to a 10-3 victory over the Elks. Photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Elks suffered their first loss in almost two years on Thursday night, as Chapel Hill Farm Center defeated the 12-time defending champs 10-3 in five innings at Jonathan D. Hollingsworth Park to move into a tie for first place with Nichirin in the Babe Ruth league standings.

CHFC (2-0) took control of the game early and held a 6-0 lead through the first three innings of play before tacking on four more runs over the next two frames to cruise to the mercy rule shortened victory.

Aided by their fast start, Chapel Hill Farm Center finished with 10 hits and seven walks against two Elks hurlers. The Elks also hurt their pitching staff's cause by committing four errors, which contributed to seven of CHFC's 10 runs.

"We just made too many errors. If you can't make the routine plays, you can't win the ballgame," said Elks coach Shane Hobbs. "Chapel Hill is a good team too and can hit the ball."

Shortstop Blake Leonard and second baseman Bryce Oliver did the most damage at the plate for Chapel Hill Farm Center, as Leonard went 3-for-4 with a double, a stolen base, and four runs scored, while Oliver tallied two hits and 3 RBI. Landon Jones, starting pitcher Tanner Garvin (2 RBI), Jesse Pruitt (2 RBI), Jake Simpson, and Payton Sisk each had one hit for CHFC as well.

Garvin, meanwhile, turned in a strong outing on the mound and allowed just one unearned run in four innings of work on one hit while notching five strikeouts en route to earning the win. Leonard then came on in relief of Garvin and gave up two unearned runs in the final frame despite not yielding a hit or a walk.

"It feels good to get this win. Our pitching and defense were great and our bats were rolling too," said Chapel Hill Farm Center coach Dan Sweeney. "Garvin threw a great game, but I expected him to pitch well tonight. Getting the lead early helped us relax."

Wilson Limbaugh singled and scored a run to account for the Elks' lone hit of the contest. Elks starting hurler Chandler Harmon suffered the loss after giving up eight runs, only one earned, over four innings on seven hits and six walks.

The Elks found themselves in an early hole, as CHFC pushed across two runs in the bottom of the first inning to seize a 2-0 lead. After singling and advancing to second on a Boone Sweeney groundout, Jones moved to third on an Elks error while Leonard reached first base on the play. Leonard then stole second before Garvin drove in both runners by smacking a single into leftfield.

In the second inning, Chapel Hill Farm Center broke the game open by crossing home plate four times in the frame with the help of dropped fly ball and a two-run single by Oliver to forge a 6-0 advantage.

The Elks trimmed the deficit to 6-1 in the top of the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Harmon, but CHFC tallied two runs in the bottom half of the frame thanks to bases loaded walks from Jesse Pruitt and Clay Watson to push their lead to 8-1.

After the Elks narrowed the gap to 8-3 in the top of the fifth with the aid of hit batsman, an error, and a Will Johnson RBI groundout, Chapel Hill Farm Center plated two runs in the bottom half of the frame on RBI singles by Oliver and Pruitt to wrap up their 10-3 triumph.