Nichirin comeback topples A-Plus

Friday, June 22, 2018
Luke Terry slams a two-run, inside the park home run in the top of the third inning.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

Tuesday night’s Babe Ruth League action kicked off with a matchup between A-Plus Collision Center (2-6) and Nichirin (3-6) and the two squads played neck-and-neck the entire game before a late surge by Nichirin sealed a 6-4 win.

Ethan Hollis started on the mound for A-Plus and Logan McKnight took the ball for Nichirin.

There was no scoring in the first inning and McKnight tossed a 1-2-3 second inning before Hollis ran into some control problems in the bottom of the second inning as he walked Rob Hawkins, Kristian Yanke-Malone, and Hayden Luna to load the bases with one out.

Aaron Gann came up with an RBI single to open the scoring, but Hollis bore down and got back-to-back popups to limit the damage to just the single run.

Ethan Crane worked a leadoff walk for A-Plus in the top of the third inning and stole second base before McKnight fielded a grounder back to the box and threw to first for the out.

Luke Terry, who has been in a batting slump, broke out in a huge way when he drilled a shot to the left/center field gap and raced all the way around the bases for his second career inside the park home run to give A-Plus a 2-1 lead.

Aaron Gann, who came in to pick up the win on the mound, also reached base three times, scored a run, and stole one base.

Nichirin failed to score in the bottom of the third and A-Plus added two more runs off Nichirin reliever Aaron Gann in the top of the fourth inning on RBI singles by Alex Hilliard and Ethan Spivey.

Yanke-Malone reached on a leadoff error in the home half of the inning and went to second on a wild pitch before a ground ball out moved Yanke-Malone to third base.

Gann walked and James Hery followed with an RBI hit to make it 4-2, but a wild 3-1-5-6 double play after the run scored ended the inning.

A-Plus’ Ethan Crane avoids the tag to steal second base in the third inning.

Terry led off the top of fifth with another shot to almost the same spot as his last time up and he attempted to circle the bases again for back-to-back inside the park home runs, but had to settle for a triple when he was gunned down at home.

The next two batters grounded out to end the inning.

J.W. Beasley led off the home half of the inning with a base hit and McKnight followed with a base on balls.

Rob Hawkins watches a high pitch go by as he draws a walk before scoring on Luke Terry’s inside the park home run.

A double steal moved the Nichirin runners to second and third base before Hollis came up with back-to-back strikeouts as he tried to escape the inning.

Hollis walked Christopher Osborne and Yanke-Malone came up with the biggest hit of his young career when he drilled a bases clearing single to the right/center field gap to put Nichirin in the lead at 5-4.

Hery retired the first two batters he faced in the top of the sixth inning before Spivey slashed a single to right field and Daniel Sellars was hit by a pitch to move Spivey into scoring position, but Hery came up with an inning ending strikeout to squelch the threat.

Hayden Luna drew a leadoff base on balls in the bottom of the inning and stole second base before coming home on a Hery RBI single to make it 6-4 when the two hour time limit expired to end the game.

A-Plus 002 200 X-4 7 2

Nichirin 010 131 X-6 6 0

A-Plus: Luke Terry 2-for-3, Ethan Spivey 2-for-3, Blake Moreland 1-for-3, Ethan Hollis 1-for-3, Alex Hilliard 1-for-3.

RS: Terry, Matthew Goodman, Hilliard, Ethan Crane.

BB: Crane 2, Goodman.

HR: Luke Terry.

3B: Terry.

RBI: Terry 2, Hillard, Spivey.

HBP: Bradley Wright.

SB: Crane, Goodman, Hillard.

PIK: Mooreland, Spivey.

Team LOB: 4

Fielding

E: Hollis 2.

LP: Ethan Hollis (5IP, 5H, 5R, 3ER, 7K, 7BB), Matthew Goodman (.1IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 0K, 2BB).

Nichirin: James Hery 2-for-4, J.W. Beasley 2-for-4, Logan McKnight 1-for-2, Kristian Yanke-Malone 1-for-2.

RS: Aaron Gann, Beasley, McKnight, Rob Hawkins, Christopher Osborne, Yanke-Malone.

BB: Gann 2, Hawkins 2, Beasley, McKnight, Osborne, Yanke-Malone, Hayden Luna.

RBI: Yanke-Malone 3, Hery 2, Gann.

ROE: Yanke-Malone, Gann.

SB: McKnight 2, Beasley 2, Gann, Hery.

CS: Yanke-Malone, Gann, Hery.

Team LOB: 6

WP: Aaron Gann (3IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 3K, 2BB).

Starting Pitcher: Logan McKnight (3IP, 3H, 2R, 2ER, 3K, 1BB).