Friday, June 10, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Bears knock off Wolves

Leader sportswriter

Sylvan Hills’ extended high school summer varsity team made quick work of Lake Hamilton’s varsity team Wednesday afternoon at Mike Bromley Field in Sherwood, as the Bears took the lead early and coasted to a 9-2 win over the Wolves, improving their summer record to 3-1.

The varsity Bears routed Pulaski Academy 10-0 in five innings on Monday, and dominated Wednesday’s game as well. Sylvan Hills scored three of its runs in the bottom of the first inning against the Class 6A Wolves, and took a 4-0 lead with a run scored in the bottom of the third.

In the third, left fielder Ryan Lumpkin got things started with a one-out standup double to left center, and starting pitcher Nick Fakouri drove in the Bears’ fourth run with a line-drive single to right field.

Lumpkin took to the mound for the Bears at the start of the fourth, and after a 1-2-3 inning by the Wolves, Sylvan Hills added three more runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Ray Young led off the inning with a walk, and Jason Neeley was hit by a pitch two batters later to put runners at first and second with one out. With Kyle Clayton at the plate, the runners took second and third on a double steal.

The throw to third from behind the plate was off, and as the ball rolled into shallow left field, Young scored for the Bears’ fifth run of the afternoon. Clayton followed with a single to right field, driving in Neeley for a 6-0 Bear lead.

Leadoff hitter Spencer Zilkey hit into a fielder’s choice at second base the next at-bat. With shortstop Michael Coven at the plate, Zilkey stole second, then third before scoring the final run of the inning on Coven’s third hit of the day, which put the Bears up 7-0.

Lake Hamilton threatened in the top of the fifth. The Wolves had runners at first and second, but a strikeout and 6-3 groundout got the Bears out of the jam. Sylvan Hills scored again in the bottom of the fifth.

Fakouri was hit by a pitch at the start of it. Payton Terry entered as his courtesy runner, and Zach Douglas followed with a standup double to left field. Chaz Poppy popped out to short for the first out, but Young followed with a sac fly to center field, scoring Terry for an 8-0 Sylvan Hills lead.

Lake Hamilton scored its two runs in the top of the sixth, but the Bears added the final run of the game in the bottom half of that inning. With two outs, Zilkey hit a triple and made a wide turn on third base. Zilkey got caught in a rundown, but sped by the catcher after the Wolves bit on his half step back to third and made the throw in that direction. The throw back to the plate wasn’t in time, and Zilkey’s run set the final score.

Lefty Garret Davis took to the hill in the top of the seventh and struck out the side to preserve the 9-2 win. The Bears did a good job of putting the bat on the ball and being successfully aggressive on the base paths Wednesday, and they also did a good job of taking advantage of Lake Hamilton’s mistakes, which stood out to their coach.

“We hit the ball,” said Sylvan Hills summer league coach Matt Presson. “We were aggressive on the base paths. We were smart at the plate and took advantage of their mistakes. When you can take advantage of people’s mistakes it just kills the momentum for them. So it’s good to be able take advantage of mistakes, do your job and get guys in when you need to.”