Win Moves Mustangs into Regional Semi-Finals
By Will Johnson
DOUGLASS – The Slocum Mustangs continue to terrorize their opponents at the plate. After defeating the Kennard Tigers in the Bi-District round of the playoffs by a final of 26-1, the Mustangs hammered the Martinsville Pirates by a score of 17-0 in the Regional Quarterfinals.
The win moves Slocum into the Regional Semi-Finals where they will face another group of buccaneers in the Wells Pirates.
Colton Snider got the start for the Pirates and on his second pitch of the game he gave up a triple to his mound counterpart – Taylor Hunt.
A Joe Byrnes pop-up to short kept Hunt at third, but when Austin Sarraf grounded into a 6-3 force at first, Hunt was able to scamper home with the game’s first run.
The 1-0 score didn’t last very long as Taylor Lomax singled and came around to score on Colton Peters’ triple to the gap in centerfield.
Dustin Fletcher was up next and popped up to right for the third out of the inning, but Slocum had drawn first blood and led 2-0.
As mentioned earlier, Taylor Hunt was on the mound for Slocum and was a little erratic in the bottom of the first. He struck out Aurelio Arroyo to lead off the inning, but then he plunked Morgan Bass and gave up a single to Snider.
A passed ball moved Bass to third and Snider to second, but Hunt managed to ring up Austin Akridge for the second out. Juan Gomez was up next and Hunt hit him with a pitch to load the bases.
James Reppond followed Gomez to the plate but could not deliver an RBI as he hit into a fielder’s choice for the final out of the inning.
The Mustangs started to pull away in the second inning as they plated three more runs. Ben Haney led off with a groundout to short. Randy Guess followed with a single to left and moved to second on a passed ball.
Andrew Abernathy grounded into a 6-3 force but on the play, Guess moved to third. Hunt was up after Abernathy and ripped a shot into left field to drive in Guess.
After Hunt singled he stole second and third while Joe Byrnes drew a walk to give the Mustangs runners at the corners with two outs. Byrnes stole second and when Austin Sarraf singled to center, both Hunt and Byrnes came around to cross the plate and make the score 5-0.
After a Lomax fly ball out to end the top of the second, Hunt was back on the mound for the Mustangs and promptly walked Josh James. The walk – along with a five run lead – seemed to calm Lomax down as he forced Mikah Kressin to pop up for the first out and then struck out Dawson Dean, as well as Arroyo, to end the inning.
Slocum tacked on three more runs in the third to make the score 8-0 after three and a half innings.
Snider got the first two batters he faced – Peters and Fletcher – to fly out and ground out, respectively. He then gave up a walk to Haney and saw Guess reach on an infield error that sent Haney over to third.
Abernathy was up next and lined a single to center which plated both Haney and Guess. Trevor Stewart was brought in as a courtesy runner for Abernathy and promptly stole second. Hunt drew a walk and then Byrnes delivered an RBI single to drive in Stewart which made the score 8-0.
Following a Sarraf groundout, Hunt went back to the mound and yielded a walk to M. Bass, who stole second. Snider followed with a single to move Bass to third, but then Hunt struck out both Akridge and Gomez. After the second out, Hunt forced Reppond to hit a slow roller to first for the inning ending out.
The Mustangs added six more runs to their total in the top of the fourth, while Hunt kept Martinsville off the scoreboard.
With the score 14-0, Slocum notched three more runs in the top of the fifth while Hunt worked a 1-2-3 fifth to end the game and move the Mustangs into the Regional Semifinals against Wells.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.