Elks defeat IMI to stop losing streak

Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Elks shortstop Wilson Limbaugh tags out IMI's Jonathan Lykins at second base to complete a 6-4-3-4 double play in the bottom of the first inning. Photo by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

The Elks (4-5) snapped their four-game losing skid by defeating Irving Materials Incorporated 9-4 on Monday night at Jonathan D. Hollingsworth Field.

IMI held a 2-1 lead through the first two innings of play, but the Elks eventually got their offense on track and crossed home plate six times over the next two frames to seize a 7-2 advantage before claiming the five-run victory.

The Elks finished with eight hits against Irving Materials Incorporated starting pitcher Brayden Gentry and reliever Marshall McKeel, but also drew nine walks to go along with three IMI errors.

Shortstop Chandler Harmon did the most damage at the plate for the Elks by going 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, 2 RBI, and two runs scored. Wilson Limbaugh tallied two hits, 1 RBI, and two runs scored for the Elks as well, while Curt Taylor (2 RBI), starting hurler Will Johnson, and Derrick McKnight (1 RBI) each had one hit.

Johnson went the distance on the mound to earn the victory, allowing four runs, two earned, on eight hits and two walks in seven innings of work to go along with four strikeouts. The Elks also turned two double plays to aid Johnson's cause, while Irving Materials Incorporated (0-9) had two other runners thrown out on the base paths.

Aaron Russ and Jordan Jent notched two hits apiece to pace IMI offensively. Jonathan Lykins (1 RBI), Dustin Deason, McKeel (2 RBI), and Lucas Welch each recorded one hit for Irving Materials Incorporated as well.

Gentry suffered the loss on the mound, yielding seven runs over four innings on six hits and eight walks.

The Elks grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Harmon scored on a IMI error after belting a two-out triple down the left field line.

Johnson then worked around a one-out single by Russ in the bottom of the first with the help of a 6-4-3-4 double play, but Irving Materials Incorporated pushed across two runs in the second inning on a walk, an error, a Jent infield single, and a couple of RBI groundouts by McKeel and Jake Blasingham to pull ahead 2-1.

IMI's lead would prove to be short lived, as the Elks crossed home plate three times in the top of the third thanks to a RBI single by Harmon and a Taylor two-run single to seize a 4-2 advantage.

In the top of the fourth, the Elks continued to pad their lead and plated three more runs on the strength of two walks, a Limbaugh RBI single, two errors, and a RBI double by Harmon to make it 7-2.

After trimming the deficit to 7-3 in the bottom of the fourth on a RBI single by McKeel, Irving Materials Incorporated narrowed the gap to 7-4 in the fifth inning thanks to Lykins RBI infield single.

The Elks, though, tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the seventh behind a single by Johnson, a McKnight RBI double, and a wild pitch to forge a 9-4 advantage.

Johnson then held IMI scoreless in the bottom of the seventh with the aid of a 4-6-3 double play to clinch the Elks' fourth win of the season.