Late A-Plus comeback try falls short
The Chapel Hill Farm Center may have been looking ahead to the second game of Wednesday night's Babe Ruth doubleheader versus the Elks as they jumped out to a big lead before A-Plus stormed back, only to fall short in game one.
Chapel Hill had 11 hits in the game to just four for A-Plus, but the Farm Center crew committed four errors, had a bevy of passed balls and made some base running mistakes that allowed A-Plus the opportunity to stay in the contest.
Zack Graves came up with a fielder's choice RBI in the bottom of the first inning to give A-Plus a 1-0 before the Farm Center tied it up in the top of the second on a Jackson Coward RBI base hit.
In the bottom of the inning, Chapel Hill had two errors in the field and two passed balls that A-Plus took advantage of as they scored a pair of runs, including an RBI base knock by Mitchell Ford that made it a 3-1 contest.
Jay Rucker walked to lead off the top of the third inning for the Farm Center and that was followed by consecutive hits by Smith, Dylan Pendley, Dustin Brashear and Jarvis Lyttle that set up a huge seven-run inning to put the Chapel Hill boys up 8-3.
Smith set down A-Plus 1-2-3 in the bottom of the frame and Chapel Hill added two more runs on RBI by Brashear and Mealer, making it 10-3 and seemingly putting the game, especially after Smith set them down 1-2-3 again in the bottom of the inning.
But hold on.
Graves came on to pitch a scoreless top of the fifth inning to keep the game alive for A-Plus and in the bottom of the stanza, things got wild at the Jonathan D. Hollingsworth Memorial Field.
Jacob Harris drew a base on balls to lead off the inning and Ford followed with a base hit to right field where the hit was bobbled, sending the A-Plus runners to second and third.
After Smith recorded a strikeout, Graves doubled to score both runners, making it 10-5 before Blaize Sweeney came to the hill in relief of Smith and promptly got a ground ball out.
Logan Courtemanche walked to keep the game alive and a Chapel Hill miscue in the field scored Graves, cutting the lead to four runs.
Things got really interesting when Mike Dunnivant walked, sending the tying run to the batter's box with two outs.
Logan McKnight sent a ground ball to second base that was misplayed by Chapel Hill, allowing two more runs to score, but in the confusion McKnight was caught in between first and second base and was eventually tagged out at the second base bag, ending the comeback with the final out.
Farm Center 107 20-10 11 8
A-Plus 120 05-8 4 1
Farm Center: Jaylen Smith 2-for-4, Dustin Brashear 2-for-2, Ethan Mealer 2-for-3, Dylan Pendley 1-for-2, Jarvis Lyttle 1-for-2, Blaize Sweeney 1-for-3, Jackson Coward 1-for-3, Luke Terry 1-for-3
RS: Smith 2, Pendley 2, Brashear 2, Lyttle, Mealer, Coward, Jay Rucker
BB: Rucker 2, Pendley, Lyttle, Allante Watts
RBI: Mealer 2, Brashear 2, Coward, Lyttle, Sweeney
SB: Pendley 2, Coward 2, Rucker
CS: Coward, Terry
A-Plus: Mitchell Ford 2-for-2, Zack Graves 1-for-3, Kel Greer 1-for-1
RS: Ford 2, Graves, Jacob Harris, Logan Courtemanche, Matthew McCormick, Greer
BB: Ford, Tilden Jackson, Courtemanche, McCormick, Michael Dunnivant
RBI: Graves 2, Ford
ROE: Harris, Logan McKnight, McCormick
WP: Jaylen Smith (4.1IP, 6R, 2ER, 7K, 4BB)
Save: Blaize Sweeney (.2IP, 0H, 2R, 0ER, 7K, 4BB)
LP: Camryn Ruiz (2IP, 5H, 6R, 5ER, 0K, 2BB)