Elks blow out Nichirin
The Elks (6-1) reeled off their fourth straight win on Monday night when they thrashed Nichirin 12-1 in four innings at Jonathan D. Hollingsworth Memorial Park to maintain a share of first place in the Marshall County Babe Ruth League standings.
Bolstered by a six run first inning, the Elks finished with eight hits and five walks against Nichirin starting pitcher Hunter Haurez and reliever Jacob Autry. Ben Taylor led the Elks offensive attack by going 3-for-3 with a double, a RBI, and three runs scored. Jay Lyons (3 RBI), Mitchell Ford (2 RBI), shortstop Austin Wood (1 RBI), starting pitcher Will Johnson ( 1 RBI), and Gage Anderson each notched one hit for the Elks as well.
Johnson also picked up the win on the mound and allowed one unearned run over three innings on two hits and a walk while recording four strikeouts. Taylor then came on in relief of Johnson and yielded two hits in one scoreless inning of work.
Denver Kelly (1 RBI), Haurez, Autry, and Blake Vinson tallied one hit apiece for Nichirin (1-6). Haurez suffered the loss on the mound and gave up 10 runs over an inning and a third on six hits and five walks.
Nichirin actually got off to a promising start and plated a run in the top of the first inning to grab a 1-0 lead. After Landon Darnell reached base on an error, Haurez singled and Autry drew a walk to load the bases with no outs. Kelly then smacked a one-out RBI single into centerfield to drive in Darnell, but Wood gunned down Haurez at home plate on the play before Johnson fanned Quinten Martinez to limit the damage in the inning.
Things quickly went south for Nichirin after that point , as the Elks pushed across six runs in the bottom of the first on the strength of three walks, a Taylor RBI single, a sacrifice fly by Thomason, two errors, two wild pitches, an Anderson single, and a RBI single by Wood to seize a 6-1 advantage.
The Elks continued to rapidly distance themselves from Nichirin in the bottom of the second and tallied four runs in the frame to stretch their lead to 10-1. Taylor belted a leadoff double and advanced to third on a wild pitch before Johnson drew a walk and stole second. After Lyons drove in Taylor and Johnson with a two-run single, Will Vanhooser reached on an error and Haurez issued a walk to Anderson to load the bases with one out. Ford then ripped a two-run double into left field to plate Lyons and Vanhooser.
In the bottom of the third, the Elks brought the mercy rule into effect by tacking on two more runs to forge a 12-1 advantage. Taylor singled and stole second before coming home on a Johnson RBI single. After stealing second and advancing to third on a groundout by Tyler Wunderlin, Johnson scored on a Lyons RBI groundout.
Taylor then worked around a pair of singles by Autry and Vinson in the top of the fourth inning with the help of a 4-6-3 double play to wrap up the victory for the Elks.