Bulldogs fall to South Greene

Published 10:26 pm Tuesday, March 29, 2016

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One day after defeating South Greene, on Tuesday afternoon the Hampton Bulldogs were unable to duplicate the feat.

The Rebels (4-2, 2-2 WVC) scored a pair of runs in the fifth to break a 1-1 ballgame and take a 3-1 Watauga Valley Conference win over Hampton.

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Freshman pitcher Javier Munoz went the distance giving up just four hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Sophomore Gavin Hardin took the hill for Hampton and had his struggles but surrendered just one run over four complete innings of work.

“He battles,” said Bulldogs head coach Matt Hardin. “He had thrown 70 pitches, and it’s early in the year. He threw strikes, but he had a couple balls hit that just found a hole to get through.”

The first three Rebels hitters – Ayden Shaw, Brandon McGhee and Justin Casteel – each singled to plate a run and stake South Greene to a 1-0 lead. Hardin then battled back and got Cody Davis and Weston Collins on strikes, while Bulldogs catcher Dalton Blair threw McGhee out on a stolen base attempt.

Munoz retired the first eight Hampton batters he faced until Draven Greene singled to right with one out in the last of the third, but was stranded at second. The ‘Dogs (3-1 WVC) broke through and ended Munoz shutout in the fourth when Wyatt Lyons doubled to center to lead off the frame, and Nash Eyrasa singled him around to tie the game at 1-1.

“Javier is a good pitcher, he comes in and he throws strikes,” Rebels head coach Phillip Cutshaw. “He’s a freshman so he gets a little nervous sometimes, but he keeps his cool about himself, and you can always depend on him throwing strikes.”

In the top of the fifth Hardin walked lead off hitter McGhee and was lifted for senior Jerry Lunsford in relief.

“He told me that he had one more inning left,” Hardin said. “But me and coach Ellis watched him and said if he got the ball up we had to get him out. Other than that he kept the ball down. They didn’t get many fly balls off him.”

Casteel greeted Lunsford with a single to center to put runners on first and second, and Davis drove home a run when his liner to short ticked off the top of the glove of Eyrasa and into left field. This left Rebel runners on first and second and both moved up on a double steal, before Collins lifted a sacrifice fly to medium-left field which plated the third South Greene run.

“Hampton has good a good ballclub, and they make good contact at the plate,” Cutshaw said. “They took advantage of situations yesterday and drove them in, but today Javier did a good job of keeping runners off the bases. We didn’t have to face many second and third or first and third with less than two outs today and that was a key.”

Lyons finished 2-for-4 on the day for Hampton with a double and a run scored while Eyrasa and Greene collected the only other hits on the day for the ‘Dogs.

“We went up against the Casteel boy yesterday,” Hardin said. “He’s pretty rapid. He is probably the best pitcher in the conference, and we had trouble making the adjustment to this pitcher. We just had trouble adjusting, and that’s baseball. All the kids battled and hats off to them. We maybe were a little too aggressive, and I think we should have been a little more selective and hit the baseball.”

South Greene 3-1

South Greene 100 020 0 – 3 6 3

Hampton 000 100 0 – 1 4 2

W – Munoz L – Hardin

DP – SG 1, H 1. LOB – SG 10, H 5. 2B – Lyons.