CPL: HiToms chase Owls out of town
Zach Brown would not mind seeing a few more nights go the way Wednesday’s affair with Forest City did.
In the most complete game the HiToms have played all season, the Owls never stood a chance, falling 11-1. The Tommies tied for a season high in hits with 16, got seven brilliant innings out of starting pitcher Josh Frederick (5-3), and did not commit a single error in the field. It was a fun night all around at Finch Field for a unit trying to come together in time to make the playoffs.
“I told them we have 14 games left and that anything can happen,” said Brown. “It does not matter what we have done in the past. What matters is what you are going to do tomorrow. Tonight we just kept the accelerator down and by the fifth or sixth it was out of reach. That is when you can just relax and play the game. Tonight was a whole lot of fun and nice to have once in awhile.”
Thomasville is effective most when they score early, and a two-spot in the first inning was a good way to start.
Alex Raburn, Robbie Streett and Kyle Martin had the outfield busy with three consecutive singles with one out. Kyle Brandenburg sacrificed home a run with a hit to right, and Mike White singled to the same area to score Streett.
In the second, the HiToms would add a third run — one inning before White sent a pitch deep into the night.
In that third inning, Brandenburg doubled to set the scene for White. He absolutely unleashed on a Ryan Phillips pitch, driving it well over the netting in right field and onto Ballpark Road. The Tommies were up 5-0 after the monster blast.
“He has got some big-time power for an outfielder that has speed,” said Brown. “He is well put together and he hit a ball at Martinsville that was unbelievable.”
Evan Stephens and Martin got in on the impromptu home run derby, hitting solo shots in the fourth and seventh innings, respectively.
Frederick allowed his only run of the night in the fourth, striking out five and walking none. He received some great defense behind him, especially from shortstop Champ Rowland who was making his first appearance of the season.
“Frederick has done that all year,” said Brown. He does not have the overpowering stuff but he battles and throws strikes. And Champ Rowland at shortstop was unreal. That is probably the best shortstop I have seen play in this league all year.”
Forest City had only six hits in dipping to 13-25 for the season. Martin paced the HiToms with a 3-for-5 effort. Five other players had a multi-hit night.
Sports Editor Zach Kepley can be reached at 888-3631, or firstname.lastname@example.org.