Dogs rally past North Greene on Kuhn blast

Published 1:13 pm Wednesday, April 5, 2023

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Freshman Jayden Kuhn put the exclamation point on a huge Hampton rally on Tuesday night with a seventh-inning walk-off grand slam that toppled North Greene 10-9 in a Watauga Valley Conference clash at Scotty Bunton Field.
“That was a 14yearold hitting a walk-off granny,” Bulldogs head coach Nicholas Perkins said. “We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores who are getting baptized in fire, so to speak and learning to play varsity baseball. The guts, courage and determination of my team showed in the last two days in this conference series against North Greene.”
Hampton trailed 9-6 going into the final stanza and Jaden Hensley pinch hit for Maddux Wilson and laced a double to center field. Josh Whitson followed with a single to center, putting Bulldogs runners at the corners.
Chance Point’s infield single loaded the bases and one out later Kuhn stepped to the plate and launched the first pitch he saw over the fence in leftfield for the game-winner.
“We struggle but we bounce back,” Kuhn said. “We stick together, we have our moments but we stick together. It really feels amazing. We have had a rough start to the season but I think we are starting to feel like we can win.”
The ‘Dogs (5-6, 2-2 WVC) scored a run in the last of the second on a bases-loaded wild pitch from Huskies starter Tanner Sexton but NG tied it in the top of the third on a run-scoring double by Damien Burns.
In the top of the fourth, the Huskies tallied five runs when relief pitcher Johnathan Greenwell issued four walks and saw RBI hits from Isaac Gaby (triple) and Adam Weir had a run-scoring double to give NG a 6-1 lead.
In the top of the fifth NG struck again with a run on an RBI double from Weir to make it a 7-1 contest. Hampton plated two in the last of the fifth with Brody Hicks delivering an RBI hit and the second run scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch.
The ‘Dogs closed the gap to 7-3 in the fifth with Brody Hicks delivering an RBI single and a second run, scoring on a bases-loaded wild pitch. Hampton closed the gap even further in the sixth with three runs against Weir, who came on in relief of Sexton. Weir walked three batters and had two run-scoring wild pitches as the ‘Dogs made it a 7-6 game.
In the seventh, Burns – who finished 3-for-4 with two RBI – stroked a single to plate a run and help stake the Huskies to a 9-6 advantage. That lead did not last long as Hampton unleashed their last inning rally for the win. The win gives Hampton a series sweep of North Greene as they took an 8-6 victory on Monday.
Hampton 10-9
North Greene 001 510 2 – 9 11
Hampton 010 023 4 – 10 12
W – Kuhn L – Weir
2B – Hensley, Burns. 3B – Gaby

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