The Warriors' lineup produces 13 hits while Philip Holmes pitches a one-run game
CROCKER -- Spring season is over for Waynesville and Crocker high school baseball and so the two squared off on Thursday night to begin their respective summer league programs.
The Waynesville Warriors defeated the Crocker Lions via run-rule, 13-1 in five innings, behind 13 hits by the Warriors’ lineup.
“That’s the best we’ve hit the ball all spring and summer,” Warriors coach Scott Turner said.
It wasn’t due to a slouch being on the mound for Crocker either. They were throwing the best two pitchers they have in Blake Neuman and Ty Helms.
“I think Crocker’s pitchers are just as good as some of the pitchers we’ve seen all season,” Turner said. “The difference is that we jumped on the fastball.”
Keeping the Lions to one run was Philip Holmes who pitched five innings, giving up three hits and three walks while striking out four.
Holmes was methodical in his approach on the hill Thursday, taking little time in-between pitches to fire his next one across the plate.
“He got in a rhythm, that was the key,” Turner said. “[Catcher Derek Emperato] kept him in a rhythm. And whenever he got in trouble the defense made plays behind him.”
Examples would be like in the bottom of the first when centerfielder Seth Hedrick tracked down a smashed ball in the alley between center and right field. Or when he relied on the infielders to get the sharply hit ground outs.
“In the first two or three innings we hit the ball pretty hard and they made plays,” Crocker coach Chris Long said. “After that we fell into a slump I guess. I’m hoping this was just rust from not playing for two weeks.”
The Warriors waited until the top of the third to start doing their damage. After they loaded the bases Jacob Saylor doubled down the right-field line and to promptly unload them and give his team the 3-0 lead.
In the fourth, Justin Leifer swatted a single into left field to bring a runner home. Trey Simpson hit a RBI single into center and catcher Derek Emperato belted a RBI double into center to give Waynesville a 7-0 lead.
Six runners made their way around the bases in the top of the fifth, four of which came from Leifer and Pendleton as they both hit 2-RBI doubles. Trey Simpson also doubled to bring a run in and Pendleton scored on a passed ball.
The Lions scored their only run in the bottom of the fifth on a fielders’ choice.
But after Holmes hit a batter, gave up a single and then walked another it was making the young pitcher sweat.
“I was like, oh crap, they’re on base,” Holmes said. “But then I was like, we’re up 13 to zero, what’s the worst than can happen?”
After the shellacking, Jones is going to keep a relaxed mentality as well. One bad game isn’t going to have him worried that the sky is falling.
“I’m not going judge too much on the first game of the summer,” Jones said. “There’s a lot of baseball to be played.”
Waynesville’s next bout will be on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. in Lebanon where they’ll play a doubleheader. The first game will be against Lebanon and then they’ll play Versailles at 12:30 p.m.