Junior Bulldogs kick-off season with big win over Rangers

Published 2:32 pm Wednesday, March 6, 2024

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By Ron Marvel

Star Correspondent

Hampton Middle School played their first game of the season against county rival Unaka Middle School. If Tuesday night is any indication, they may be a force to reckon with this year. Using a combination of hits and walks, the Junior Bulldogs were able to generate eighteen runs against the Rangers.

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The game started well for the Rangers in the first inning as they were able to draw a walk and get a base hit. However, after Jr. Bulldog pitcher Eland Henson got a called strikeout, Carter Force hit a line drive into the lanky arms of Jr. Bulldog shortstop Colby Clark. The 6’4” Clark would then wisely flip to second to turn the double play.

The Jr. Bulldogs exploded for twelve runs in the top of their inning. After back-to-back walks by Ryland Jones and Cash Royston, Memphis Nave and Clark ripped back-to-back doubles to make the score 2-0. Henson then got a base knock up the middle, and the route was on.

Henson would get a couple of strikeouts in the top of the second, and then the Jr. Bulldogs would tack on another six runs in the bottom of the second fueled in part by a single off the bat of Colton Clawson. The Rangers would show a lot of grit in the top of the third by getting the goose egg off the scoreboard. Kayden Crawford and Braydon Otey would start the inning off with walks before Jr. Ranger Levi Fisher would rip a double to deep center, and Carter Force would get an opposite-field single to plate 2 Jr. Ranger Runs, giving the contest its final score of 18-2.

For the Jr. Bulldogs, Henson would go two innings giving up no runs and chalking up three strikeouts; Clark would go 2-2 on the night. The Jr. Bulldogs would also get base hits by Jackson Emerson, Casey Gilbert, and Gavin Freeman. Fisher would finish the game with two base hits for the Rangers while Dean Brooks would add a base hit as well.