Strong pitching and timely hitting helped the Rock Hill Bearcats end a four-game losing streak beating Rocky River 10-0 to open the 2014 Wheels Invitational baseball tournament.
Coming into the game, Rock Hill had lost each of the four by one run each.
“Anytime you can get a win, it helps to turn things around,” said Bearcats coach Dell Corley. “Hopefully, we can play well tomorrow and that will carry one through Friday.”
Bearcats starter Bryon Foust defensively led Rock Hill, going five innings and allowing just one hit and four walks, while striking out seven.
“He is one we have been waiting on to see if he can get it done,” Corley said.
Foust cruised through his first inning by striking out two of his first three batters.
In the bottom of the inning, Rock Hill’s leadoff hitter Caleb Hamilton walked by Rocky River starter Deshawn Outing. Hamilton then stole second and Outing balked at the next pitch attempt pushing Hamilton to third.
Bearcats’ Cody Edkins also walked and then a delayed steal allowed Hamilton to score the first run of the game after the throw ended up in centerfield. Edkins wound up at third and scored on a wild pitch, putting Rock Hill up 2-0.
The Bearcats continued to roll as centerfielder Chase Watts tripled before Outing got a visit from his coach. Rock Hill’s Will Reid then knocked in Edkins on a sacrifice fly with one out.
In the second, Foust allowed a walk, but again struck out two hitters as he had good command of his pitches. In the bottom half, Bearcats’ catcher Brandon Banks walked and second baseman Steven Buss was hit by a pitch as Outing continued to struggle. Banks then stole third, but was thrown out at home.
Rocky River got the first two batters on base, with the help of a walk and fielder’s choice in the third inning. However, Foust was able to battle back and got the next three batters out to get out of the top half of the inning.
The Bearcats’ bats cooled as the game wore on, getting a hit in the third inning, but they stranded runners in both the second and third innings.
In the fourth, Rock Hill’s Isaac Rogers walked and then stole second and third base, before scoring with the help of a third strike throwing error by Rocky River catcher.
Rocky River got its first hit of the game in the fifth inning after threatening several innings. A double by Devryn Galloway put runners on second and third for the Mint Hill, N.C., team. However, like he had done before Foust got out of the inning without allowing a run.
Rock Hill’s bats started to heat up again in the fifth as Edkins walked and Watts singled to start things off. Edkins scored on a wild pitch later in the inning and Zach Carter then drove in Watts.
After a fielder’s choice, Outing was pulled after allowing five walks and striking out two. Reliever Bobby Mahlan walked Rodgers to load the bases.
Pinch-hitter Tyler Wilkins knocked in Carter on an infield single before an inning-ending double play stopped the Bearcats’ scoring, but not before a three run inning.
Foust was replaced in the sixth inning by junior Will Reid, who like his predecessor got two of the three outs with a strikeout.
Reid helped his cause in the sixth inning with an RBI single to score Watts, who was hit by a pitch earlier in the inning. Rodgers singled in Carter and Wes Bostic drove in Reid to end the game by the mercy rule.
Rock Hill 10, Rocky River 0
Deshawn Outing, Bobby Mahlan (5) and Smith Brundage (RR); Bryon Foust, Will Reid (6) and Brandon Banks, Wes Bostic (6) (RH). W – Bryon Foust, L – Deshawn Outing. 2B – Devryn Galloway (RR), 3B – Chase Watts (RH). LOB: Rocky River 8, Rock Hill 6.
Leading hitters – Rock Hill: Chase Watts 2-3 3B, Zach Carter 2-4 RBI, Will Reid 1-3 2 RBI.
Records: Rocky River 4-10, Rock Hill 11-7
Oxnard (Calif.) 5, Rocky River 3: In the first game of the day at Rock Hill, Oxnard starter Kodi Koorndyk pitched a complete game for the California team giving up three runs and five hits in the win.
Oxnard scored a run in the top of the first inning and then extended its lead in the top of the third, but Rocky River came back to tie the game in the bottom of the third at 3-3.
Then in the seventh, Oxnard scored two runs with the help of a fielder’s choice from Derick Fontyn and then an error by Rocky River, which was enough.
W – Kodi Koorndyk, L – Devryn Galloway, 2B – Devryn Galloway (RR), Stewart Cole (RR)
Records: Rocky River 4-9, Oxnard 9-5.