MANCHESTER — After completing a 14-10 regular season, Coach Josh Reaves and his Manchester Greyhound varsity baseball squad opened postseason play on their home field on Saturday, hosting the Sciotoville East Tartans in a Division IV sectional semifinal contest.
The result of the evening was the Greyhounds moving on in tourney play, as they used two big innings to post a six-inning 12-2 run-rule win over the visiting Tartans.
Coach Reaves sent right hander Aaron Lucas to the mound in the sectional opener and the Tartans got off to a good start, tallying a pair of runs in the top of the first inning.
The combination of leadoff hitter Kevin Cam Justice reaching on an error, a double to right center by Ethan Rase, and a basehit by starting pitcher Landehn Pernell gave East and early 2-0 advantage.
Rase and Pernell posted runs batted in, as East’s only other basehit belonged to Chris Escamilla.
The Hounds tied it up in the bottom of the second when Logan Bell reached on an error, stole second and third, then scored on a Cade Colvin groundout to get Manchester on the board.
With two outs, Drew Kennedy reached safely on another Tartan error — and came home on a Karson Reaves basehit to even things at 2-2.
The contest remained deadlocked until the ‘Hounds came to bat in the bottom of the fifth — and gave themselves some breathing room, scoring five times with Lucas, Ryland Wikoff, Kyle Reaves, Jackson Poole and Bell all crossing the plate to give the home team a 7-2 lead.
After Lucas tossed a 1-2 3 top of the sixth, the ‘Hounds sealed the deal in the bottom half, again plating five runs to enforce the mercy rule and send their faithful home happy.
The ‘Hounds did their damage off of Pernell and reliever Kevin Billings, who didn’t retire a batter after being called in from the pen.
The game-clinching score came home on a Daulton McDonald basehit , giving the Hounds win No. 15 and sending them on to the sectional finals.
Lucas went all the way on the hill for the ‘Hounds, giving up just three hits and the two first-inning runs, while striking out eight Tartans.
The Manchester offense produced seven hits — two each by Poole, McDonald and Karson Reaves — with Poole also driving home five runs.
The ‘Hounds took advantage of Tartan miscues in the field, five of their runs being of the unearned variety.
* * *
East 200 000 —2 3 NA
Manchester 020 055 —12 7 NA
EHS: Landehn Pernell 5IP, 9R, 4ER, 5H, 2BB, 5K, 97 pitches; Kevin Billings 0IP, 3R, 3ER, 2H, 3BB, 0K, 25 pitches
MHS: Aaron Lucas 6IP, 2R, 1ER, 3H, 0BB, 8K, 66 pitches
W — Aaron Lucas; L —Landehn Pernell