CPL: Tommies starting to heat up
For the second straight night, the HiToms used a five-run fifth inning to run past the Martinsville Mustangs 7-4 at Finch Field.
The winning pitcher was Josh Frederick (1-1), who allowed one run on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts in five innings. Austin Faulconer (0-1) surrendered six runs on eight hits with a walk and seven strikeouts in five frames to take the loss for the Mustangs, who fell to 3-4. Hunter Rice works two-thirds of an inning to pick up his second save as the HiToms won their first home game of the year to improve to 3-4.
After an Evan Stephens first inning home run tied the game at one, Max Gagnon and Sam Foy started the HiToms’ fifth inning with back-to-back singles while a walk of Stephens loaded the bases with nobody out. After Kyle Brandenburg struck out, Dykota Spiess placed an RBI single into the hole in right field and the HiToms took the lead at 2-1. Ryan Cooper then pelted a two-run double down the left field line to make it 4-1. Mustangs starter Austin Faulconer followed by hitting Cameron Cecil with a pitch to reload the bases. The next batter, Cody Leichman, grounded into a fielder’s choice that resulted in another run. An error by Martinsville second baseman Josh Alberius on a Tyler Wilson grounder scored the fifth run to give the HiToms a 6-1 lead.
All told, the HiToms batted around in an inning for the first time all season, sending 10 men to the plate and plating five runs on four hits.
A Brandenburg RBI single an inning later made the score 7-1 HiToms.
The Mustangs tried chipping away at the deficit. Josh Alberius launched a two-run home run in the seventh off reliever Nick Miller, who threw 3.2 innings out of the bullpen, allowing three runs on one hit with two walks and six strikeouts.
The Mustangs placed runners on the corners with one out trailing 7-3 in the ninth when the HiToms turned to closer Hunter Rice. Pinch-hitter Zack Hagaman struck out before Heath Burton lifted an RBI single to pull the Mustangs within three. However, Rice got Devin Ahart to fly to Stephens to end the ballgame.