CPL: HiToms topple Owls; reach .500
After spotting Forest City a run in each of the first two innings, the HiToms settled in and reached the .500 mark with a 7-4 victory Wednesday. It was the second straight night the HiToms defeated the Owls.
Evan Stephens matched Forest City’s scoring with runs batted in, collecting two base hits to accumulate four RBIs. Sam Foy added two base knocks for the 6-6 HiToms.
Long outings by starting pitchers has been a cause for concern for Thomasville at times in the young season. Josh Frederick got off to a rocky start yielding two runs in the first two innings.
He walked the first batter and hit the second, leading to a run on a fielder’s choice.
In the second inning, Nate Chong got aboard via a walk. After stealing second, he moved to third on a grounder. Kendall Keeton drove him in with an infield single.
Leaving two aboard in the first, the HiToms tied the game with a pair of runs in the second. Foy and Andrew Cox got on base with a single and walk, respectively. Stephens came up with his first big hit two batters later, driving a single to the gap that scored Foy and Cox.
A 1-2-3 third inning for Frederick got the HiToms back in the dugout quickly. The bottom half was nowhere near as easy for the Owls and starting pitcher Jake Padgett.
Batting around, the HiToms scored five more times to open up a 7-2 cushion. All of the noise came with two outs.
Ryan Cooper had doubled, with Foy and Cox reaching on walks. With the sacks loaded, Domineke Albert surprised the defense by dropping down a bunt. Everybody was safe on the play. Stephens drove in the next two with a bloop single to extend the lead to three. The woes continued for Padgett. He walked Cameron Cecil to load the bases for a third time in the inning. Dykota Spiess made him pay, driving a single through the right side to plate one more. The final run came when Padgett beaned Jared Allen with a pitch.
Frederick surrendered single runs in the fifth and sixth innings to the Owls, but gave the team the kind of start they were hoping for.
Bennett Hixson and Hunter Rice combined to pitch the final 3 1/3 innings.