Home Runs Help Gens To Their 6th Straight Win
Ethan Cady and Wes Clarke each hit their team-leading third home run of the year to help the Gens take down the Staunton Braves on the road Saturday night.
Staunton jumped out to a one run lead in the bottom of the first. A walk and a hit-by-pitch with one out in the inning set the stage for Devon Moore to hit a single up the middle that scored the runner from second. They would hold the lead for a half inning before relinquishing it for the rest of the game.
The Gens responded with a vengeance in the top of the second. After retiring the first two hitters of the inning, things got started with a single to left by Jackson Tate (Alabama). The next batter was Ethan Cady (East Tennessee State). He would fall behind in the count, 0-2. However, the next pitch was over the heart of the plate and Ethan didn’t miss it. He cranked a high fly ball that banged off the sponsorship wall above the out field wall in John Moxie Stadium for his third home run of the season. This put Ethan alone for the team lead in homers over a number of players that had hit two. It put the Gens up 2-1, but the weren’t finished yet. Jackson Greene (Florida State) singled after the homer and moved to second on a walk to Connor Norby (East Carolina). Kobe Lopez (Florida International) came up with another single that drove in Greene, but when the centerfielder whiffed the ball, Norby came all the way around to score. The score after the top of the second was 4-1 in favor of the Gens.
The Gens wouldn’t wait long to score again. After starter Deven Judy (Gannon U) worked out of a bit of a jam in the bottom of the second, Eli Quiceno (Gannon U) hit the first of his two doubles to get things off and running in the third. The very next batter was Wes Clarke (South Carolina). He hit an absolute no doubter to left center field to continue the fireworks. That was his third of the season, which tied himself with Cady once again. Cady had held the team lead in homers for a total of one inning. The score was now 6-1.
The fourth inning would make the third consecutive inning that the Gens scored. Again, they would do their damage after the first two hitters of the inning were retired. A two-out single by Joey Kinker (Florida Gulf Coast) brought up Eli Quiceno. Eli put a charge into one that had the crowd thinking it was a third consecutive inning with a homer for Waynesboro. Instead, the ball banged off the wall and Eli was able to pull into second base with an RBI double. The score after the top of the fourth was 7-1.
The Braves would mount a bit of a comeback with three unanswered runs. They scored one in the fourth and two in the seventh. In the fourth, a walk and two singles loaded the bases for Staunton with one out in the inning. A ground out would score a run and put runners at second and third, but Judy escaped further damage. Judy also got into a bases loaded jam in the fifth, but a couple of strikeouts got him out of the inning and finished his night after five innings. In the seventh, the inning got started with an error on the Waynesboro third baseman. A single by Logan Worley put runners at first and second. Duncan Pastore ripped a double past the diving third baseman to bring in the runner from second. A sacrifice fly by Jacob Selden brought in another run but really settled in Luke Short (St. Mary’s). Luke had already pitched a clean 6th before having just a little trouble in the sixth. After the sacrifice fly gave Waynesboro their first out, Short proceeded to strikeout two more batters to finish the inning. He was able to punch out four in just two innings. The score after seven complete innings had the Gens on top by three, 7-4.
The Generals were able to add some insurance runs in the top of the ninth to put things out of reach for the Braves. But just before that in the bottom of the eighth, Christian Edwards (Jacksonville State) put up an immaculate inning. He threw 9 pitches, 9 strikes, and recorded 3 punch outs. The craziest part of the immaculate inning was that Edwards threw only fastballs. He was bringing the gas and Staunton couldn’t catch up with it. He also went on to strikeout three more in his second inning of work to pick up his first save of the season. Jackson Tate was hit by at pitch and made Staunton pay for it. He stole second and then third all within a matter of four pitches. With a drawn in infield, Jackson Greene hit a chopper to the shortstop. The shortstop tried to throw out Tate at home, but was late in doing so. An RBI fielder’s choice for Jackson Greene put the first run of the inning on the board. Connor Norby got hit by a pitch and Kobe Lopez walked to load the bases. A wild pitch allowed the other runner to come in to put the score at 9-4. That score ended up being the final as the Gens won their sixth in a row and also moved their record vs the Staunton Braves to 4-0 on the season.
Key Performers for Staunton:
Logan Worley: 2-5, R
Duncan Pastore: 1-4, 2B, RBI
Mitchell Guerrieri: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K
Key Performers for Waynesboro:
Ethan Cady (East Tennessee State): 2-4, 3B, HR (3), 2 RBI, R
Elijah Quiceno (Gannon University): 2-6, 2 2B, RBI, R
Wes Clarke (South Carolina): 1-3, HR (3), 2 RBI, R, 2 BB
Deven Judy (Gannon University): W (1-0), 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 3 K
Christian Edwards (Jacksonville State): SV (1), 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K (First Inning- “Immaculate Inning”)
The Generals (15-7) will be back in action on the road on Sunday night. They’ll travel to Woodstock to take on the River Bandits. The two games with Woodstock have both lasted over four hours, had at least 32 combined hits, and at least 29 combined runs. So Sunday night promises to be a fireworks display a little bit before July. First pitch is set for 7 pm.