Bulldogs defeat Landers in doubleheader

Published 8:10 am Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Hampton Bulldogs boy’s baseball team defeated the Cloudland Highlanders in a doubleheader at Hampton on Tuesday in games that were closer than the scores indicate. The Bulldogs defeated Cloudland in the first game of the night by an 8-4 score and overcame the Landers again in the second game by an 8-0 mark. The two games had a little of everything in them including deep hit balls, smart baserunning, hit batters, errors and a no-hitter shutout.

Game One:

Hampton 8 – Cloudland 4

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The first game became a hard-fought close contest with both sides making mistakes. Several batters were hit by Cloudland and Hampton pitches, and neither team could pull away and get control of the game.

Both teams kept this contest close with good defense and pitching. Cloudland scored a run in the top of the first and Hampton got on the board themselves with two runs in the same inning. Neither team could do much on offense until the fourth inning when Hampton would score two more runs and Cloudland would get another of their own.  With Hampton leading by one run and the score 4-3, the Bulldogs rallied for four runs in the sixth inning to stretch their lead to 8-3 and break the game open. Though Cloudland tried to make a comeback during the top of the seventh when Cloudland’s Dillon Johnson singled and drove in Brayden Christman for a run, that would be the end of Cloudland’s scoring, and the game ended with an 8-4 Hampton victory.

Dillion Johnson led all Cloudland batters for this contest by going 3 for 3 and a walk. Parker Henry had a double and two singles for the contest for Hampton.

“It always seems to come down to one bad inning for us, said Elisha Guinn,” Cloudland catcher. “We do okay until that one inning when we give up too many runs to overcome.”

Game Two:

Hampton 8 – Cloudland 0

The story of the second game was stranded batters and errors for Cloudland and good pitching and hitting from Hampton. With Cloudland’s ace pitcher Dillon Johnson on the mound, Hampton was able to squeeze out one run in the top of the second, but Hampton’s Lyons was thrown out at home in the top of the third, and it looked like Cloudland’s defense was going to hold.

Hampton only led by a 1-0 score going into the sixth inning when Hampton’s batters started to connect. Cloudland gave up four runs in the top of the sixth and three in the top of the seventh to seal the contest.

Cloudland had eight errors in the game and the fielding did not support the pitching of the Cloudland staff. Cloudland pitcher Johnson picked off two of Hampton’s players at first, but that became the highlight of the night for the Cloudland defense.

Meanwhile, Cloudland hitters could not get past the Hampton pitchers. Hampton pitchers Owens and Rouse combined to throw a no-hitter for the contest. Though they walked five batters, and their defense bent at times, it would not break to allow Cloudland to score.

“I thought our pitchers did an outstanding job,” said Hampton coach Nicholas Perkins. “Josh Owens has not given up an earned run in his last three starts, and we are so glad to get Rouse back from rotator cup problems. He was our ace in 2018, and we are going to need him down the road.”

“I have nothing but total respect for Cloudland’s team and especially for Coach Rhodes. He has done a tremendous job up there, and he seems to have changed the school’s attitude toward baseball. He is a very good coach.”

This is Hampton’s third win in a row and these wins give Hampton a 4-9 record after starting the year 1-9. Hampton will take on South Green on Thursday night and Hancock County on Friday.

Cloudland remains winless but is improving. “We just have to stop the errors on defense and get that one key hit when we need it,” stated Coach Rhodes. “We are leaving too many batters on base when one good hit could get them in and make a difference in the game.”

Cloudland’s next game is against Cosby at home. Game time is at 4:30.