A-Plus Collision Center polishes off Elks

Friday, June 20, 2014
A-Plus Collision Center third baseman Raymond Cooksey throws out the Elks' Nathan Thomason at first base in the bottom of the third inning. Tribune photos by Louis G. Scheuchenzuber

Having already sewn up the 2014 Marshall County Babe Ruth League championship, A-Plus Collision Center (11-1) ended their season in fitting fashion by defeating the second place Elks 8-1 in five innings on Tuesday night.

APCC held a 3-1 lead through the first four innings of play before erupting for five runs in the top of the fifth to bring the mercy rule into effect.

Plate and mound

Elk catcher Will Johnson throws out A-Plus Collision Center's Tristan Underwood at first base after digging a third strike out of the dirt in the top of the second inning.

Aided by their late offensive flurry, A-Plus Collision Center finished with six hits and six walks against two Elk hurlers. Jarvis Lyttle (2 RBI) and Tristan Underwood (1 RBI) both tallied two hits to lead APPC at the plate, while starting pitcher Brayden Gentry (1 RBI) and Jarmaria Ridley each had one hit.

Gentry also turned in a strong performance on the mound to earn his fifth win of the season, as he yielded just one run in five innings of work on five hits and a walk to go along with six strikeouts.

Ben Taylor paced the Elks offensively by going 2-for-2 to finish the season with an impressive .424 batting average. Austin Wood, Iendi Biggers, and Nathan Thomason each notched a hit for the Elks (8-4) as well. Elk starting pitcher Jay Lyons suffered the loss and yielded eight runs over four and a third innings. Wood then came on in relief of Lyons and retired both batters that he faced.

Scoring starts

A-Plus Collision Center grabbed an early 1-0 lead by pushing across a run in the top of the second inning. After legging out an infield single, Lyttle stole second prior to advancing to third on a passed ball. Dominic West then drew a walk before Lyttle swiped home on a double steal.

Lyons held APCC scoreless in the third inning, but A-Plus Collision tacked on two more runs in the top of the fourth to open up a 3-0 advantage. Following a leadoff walk by Logan Bailey, Underwood served a bloop single into right field to put runners on first and second with one out. Bailey then scored on an error before Underwood came home on a RBI fielder's choice by West.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Elks scratched out a run to narrow the gap to 3-1. After loading the bases with no outs on consecutive singles by Wood, Biggers, and Taylor, Lyons drove in Wood with a sacrifice fly.

Five-run fifth

The game, however, got away from the Elks in the top of the fifth, as APCC crossed home plate five times in the frame on the strength of two walks, a Ridley single, a RBI fielder's choice by Brett McGehee, a hit batsman, a Gentry RBI single, a RBI single by Underwood, and a Lyttle two-run single to stretch their lead to 8-1.

The Elks tried to prolong the game and put runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a Thomason single and a walk by Will Vanhooser, but Gentry retired the next two batters on a strikeout and a fielder's choice to wrap up the victory for A-Plus Collision Center.