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Bulldogs upend Happy Valley

BY ALLEN LAMOUNTAIN

STAR CORRESPONDENT

On Saturday at Scotty Bunton Field, Hampton made the most of their eight hits, scoring seven runs and earning a 7-2 victory over Happy Valley with the aid of the strong pitching of Josh Owens.

Owens pitched six innings giving up two runs on seven hits while striking out six and walking just two.

“I threw a lot of two-seam fastball’s which is a new pitch for me,” Owens said. “It is something I was working on before the game and it worked pretty well. We work every day on getting better defensively and making routine plays and not just throwing the ball around.”

Hampton (1-1) got on the board in the last of the first when third baseman Caleb Royston was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded giving the ‘Dogs a one-run lead.

Happy Valley scored a pair of runs in the top of the third when the Warriors loaded the bases on an infield error – the ‘Dogs only miscue of the game – and singles from Alex Lunceford and Tucker Shoun.

Ground-ball outs off the bat of Andrew Little and Colby Chausse each brought home a run for a 2-1 HV lead.

An RBI single from Royston in the bottom of the frame knotted the score at 2-2 setting the stage for a Bulldog rally in the fourth.

Chance Point reached on an infield error and Conor Jones reached on a strikeout, passed ball.

With runners on second and third Brody Hicks brought home a run with a ground out to third and Parker Henry stroked a triple down the right-field line for a 4-2 Hampton lead.

Henry scored on a wild pitch for a 5-2 Bulldogs advantage.

HV starter Pedro Colunga pitched 3.1 innings giving up five runs – four earned – on three hits with three walks and two hit batters. He also struck out three batters before giving way to Little in the fourth.

The ‘Dogs touched Little for two runs in the fifth with an infield error opening the door. A walk to Henry loaded the bases and set the stage for a two-run double from catcher Morgan Lyons inside the bag at third that gave Hampton a 7-2 lead.

After surrendering two runs in the third, Owens then set the next nine HV hitters down over the next three frames as the ‘Dogs built their lead.

“Owens has been our ace pitcher and has been one of our better pitchers since his sophomore year,” Bulldogs manager Nicholas Perkins said. “Every time he takes the baseball we feel like we have a chance to win. I thought he did a good job of executing all of his pitches when he really needed to and I appreciate the maturity he brings to this pitching staff.”

After a single from Andrew Clawson to open the seventh, Perkins went to Royston to close things out and after a free pass to Lunceford, Royston retired Shoun, Little, and Colby Chausse on strikes to end the contest.

Hampton 7-2

Happy Valley… 002 000 0 – 2 7 3

Hampton …….. 101 320 x – 7 8 1

W – Owens. L – Colunga.

3B – Henry. 2B – Lyons.