Braves film Terry in Nichirin comeback

Friday, June 2, 2017
Luke Terry smashes a one-out double in the top of the first inning Tuesday night at the Jonathan D. Hollingsworth Memorial Babe Ruth Field in Lewisburg.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

An Atlanta Braves film crew was at the Jonathan D. Hollingsworth Memorial Babe Ruth Field in Lewisburg Tuesday night, compiling a special on 14-year old, one-armed Luke Terry, who has garnered national recognition from ESPN, NBC, USA Today, the New York Post and former major league one-armed pitcher Jim Abbott.

“All this attention is just special for him,” Marshall County Babe Ruth league president Kenneth Demastus said. “Luke is the kind of kid that doesn’t necessarily want to be in the spotlight, he would rather do things to please other people.”

Terry and Abbott have more in common than just having one-arm as anyone who watched Abbott play could tell you that his tenacity was inspiring.

Abbott was a United States Olympian and had a 10-year MLB career where he finished fifth in American League Rookie of the Year Award voting in 1989, third in AL Cy Young Award voting in '91 and in an unforgettable moment in major league baseball history, Abbott delighted the world when tossed a no-hitter for the Yankees in New York versus the Indians on Sept. 4, 1993.

Terry is cut out of that same exact mold, displaying an indomitable spirit with a humbleness that is refreshing.

“I believe Luke can be whatever he wants to be,” Demastus said. “I’ve known him for so long that I see him as just another kid who likes to hunt or work on his farm.”

The kid just loves baseball and has worked extremely hard to be the best he can be and on Tuesday night, Terry was really good, going 3-for-3 with a double, two runs scored and two stolen bases for his Matthews Team Sports squad.

“We just don’t see Luke as being handicapped,” Demastus said. “We see him as a catcher or a great center fielder who can track down any ball in the outfield.”

Terry’s tenacity is rubbing off on his Matthews’ dugout mates, who took on Nichirin in the first game of a scheduled twin bill.

The last time the two teams met, Nichirin blasted Matthews 21-0, but not this time as the game went down to a walk off base hit by Zack Holder in the bottom of the sixth inning that capped off a 12-11 comeback win by Nichirin.

Terry got things going in a hurry for Matthews, banging a one-out double to the right/center field gap in the first inning and then stole third base before scoring on a fielder’s choice RBI by Matthew Fuller.

“When he is at bat, he always makes contact and puts the ball in play so his team can score runs,” Demastus said. “Luke has always just been a great baseball player and has been as enthusiastic as he is now all the way back when he first started playing at the Little League field.”

Conner Lewis started on the hill for Matthew Team Sports and tossed three innings, giving up two unearned runs on four hits, while striking out four and walking one.

Connor Lewis started on the mound for Matthews with Terry behind the plate and the southpaw battery worked out of a pair of two-on, two-out jams in the first two innings.

Nichirin catcher Thomas J. Beardsley tags out a diving Luke Terry at home plate in the third inning.

A two-run single by Brandon Porter in the second inning staked Lewis to a 3-0 lead and in the bottom of the third, Matthews made it 7-0 on a two-run single by Brennan Peete, an RBI base knock by Fuller and a wild pitch that scored Lewis.

Lewis gave up two unearned runs in his final inning on the hill, surrendering four hits, striking out four and walking one Nichirin batter in his three innings of work.

Lewis also turned in a great night at the plate, going 3-for-4 with an RBI, a triple, three runs scored and a stolen base.

Terry started a two-out rally in the top of the fourth, beating out an infield single and going to second on a wild pickoff attempt before scoring on a Lewis RBI single. Two more Matthews’ baserunners crossed home plate in the inning on a two-run error to make it a 10-2 contest.

Things looked good for the winless Matthews squad, but not so fast as Nichirin mounted a serious comeback, scoring six runs in the home half of the inning via a two-run single by JW Beasley, RBI hits by Holder and Logan McKnight, plus a pair of runs on two wild pitches.

Christian Stacey picked up the win on the mound for Nichirin, tossing 3.2 innings of relief Monday night.

Christian Stacey worked his way out of a bases loaded two-out jam in the top of the fifth inning before his Nichirin teammates tied the game at 10-10 in the bottom of the frame.

Stacey walked to leadoff the stanza and when he stole second base, a double error allowed him to come all the way home to cut the lead to one run.

Tilden Jackson followed with another base on balls and took second on a groundout before scoring the tying run one out later on an RBI single by Thomas J Beardsley.

Zack Holder had the game winning walk off hit in the bottom of the sixth inning that gave Nichirin a 12-11 come from behind win over Matthews Team Sports.

Lewis led off the top of the sixth inning with a triple down the right field line and scored the go-ahead run on a fielder’s choice RBI by Garrett Mead.

Cooper Wright started the winning rally for Nichirin in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff walk and took second and third base on a wild pitch and a passed ball.

After a pop-up for an out, Jackson tripled to right field, knocking in Cooper before Holder delivered the game winner up the middle.

The second game of the doubleheader between Nichirin and the Elks was rained out and will be made up tonight at 5:30 p.m.

The Marshall County Babe Ruth is hosting two state tournaments this season, beginning with the 14-year old all-stars on July 7 and one week later, the 15-year old all-stars play in Lewisburg.

Matthews 124 301-11 13 7

Nichirin 002 622-12 10 3

Matthews: Luke Terry 3-for-3, Conner Lewis 3-for-4, Carson Osborne 2-for-4, Brennan Peete 2-for-3, Mathew Fuller 1-for-3, Brandon Porter 1-for-4, Garrett Mead 1-for-2

2B: Terry

3B: Mead, Lewis

RBI: Peete 3, Fuller 2, Mead, Porter, Lewis

LP: Matthew Fuller (0.1IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 0K, 1BB), Conner Lewis (3IP, 4H, 2R, 0ER, 4K, 1BB), Will McAdams (0.1IP, 3H, 6R, 5ER, 1K, 4BB), Carson Osborne (1.2IP, 1H, 2R, 2ER, 3K, 4BB)

Nichirin: Tilden Jackson 3-for-3, Zack Holder 2-for-4, Jake Wallace 2-for-3, Thomas J Beardsley 1-for-2, Logan McKnight 1-for-3, JW Beasley 1-for-3, Christian Wilson 1-for-1

2B: Jackson

3B: Jackson

RBI: Beasley 2, Holder 2, Jackson, Beardsley, McKnight, Wallace

WP: Christian Stacey (3.2IP, 6H, 4R, 4ER, 5K, 3BB), Cooper Wright (2.1IP, 7H, 7R, 5ER, 1K, 3BB)