Monday, June 06, 2011

SPORTS >> Junior Bruins get zone victory

Leader sports editor

IN SHORT:  Sylvan Hills upped its class A record district record with win on Thursday.

The Sylvan Hills junior team picked up a win Thursday night at home, beating Jacksonville 7-3 in a five-inning affair. The win lifts the Bruins to 3-2  on the season and 1-1 in zone play, as each team prepares for this weekend’s tournament at Jacksonville. It was a pleasing performance for Sylvan Hills coach Chris Foor, who has seen his team improving with each game.

“We’re a very, very young group,” Foor said. “We’re playing against a lot of teams a little older than we are.  We gave up a good lead in our first district game at Cabot, but I thought tonight we showed what we could do.”

Sylvan Hills put four on the board in the first inning with four base hits and a walk. Brandon Baioni, J.D. Miller and Hunter Heslep got things rolling with three-straight, one-out base hits. Cody Hattabaugh then walked and one out later Connor Poteet got an RBI base hit to left field to cap the opening-inning rally.

The Bruins added a run in the second to make it a 5-0 game when T.J. Burrows walked and scored on a hit by Miller.

Jacksonville put together a rally in the top of the third, piling up three runs to cut the Bruins’ margin to just two runs. All three runs came with two outs. Leadoff hitter Josh Cook and Derek St. Clair walked with one out. After a strikeout, Troy Allen and Alex Broadwell got base hits to drive in all remaining base runners and make the score 5-3.

The Bruins didn’t need much time to extend their lead back to four. Heslep got things started with a leadoff base hit. He moved over on a fielder’s choice grounder by Hattabaugh, and scored on a base rap by Imhoff. Imhoff later crossed the plate to set the final margin.

The pitchers settled in at that point and no more runs were scored. Jacksonville threatened in the fifth, getting its first two batters on base with a base hit by Cook and a walk by St. Clair. Closer Marcus Long then got the next two batters swinging, and forced Broadwell into a  ground-out to shortstop to end the game.

“Marcus is just an eighth grader,” Foor said. “He came in and struck out two of three with the bases loaded. He showed a little moxie.”

Charlie Roberts started the game on the mound for the Bruins and got the win. Jacob White stepped in for an inning of solid middle relief.

The junior Gwatney squad dropped to 1-3 with the loss.

Both teams  began tournament play at Dupree Park in Jacksonville last night, and will be in action today and Sunday. Look for detailed coverage of all the action in that tournament in Wednesday’s edition of The Leader.