Jacob Byrd and Cameron Miller had dominating pitching performances as each hurler’s respective team earned runaway wins in Babe Ruth League play on Thursday at Elizabethton High School.
In the opener, Byrd threw a six inning no-hitter as the Cabinet Top Masters of Hampton drilled Pardner’s BBQ of Piney Bluff 11-1 in six innings. Miller struck out 10 and had a three-hitter as Bojangles ‘chicken fried’ Horace Mann Insurance 9-1 in the nightcap.
CTM (3-0) struck for five runs in the last of the first inning with Lucas Tipton starting the rally with an RBI double that plated Nathaniel Townsend, who walked in his at-bat. Nate Perry, Dylan Suiter and Justin Greene each followed with singles to drive in two more runs and make it a 3-0 contest.
Byrd completed the rally with a two-RBI single that capped the run explosion for the Hampton squad.
“We have a lot of pitching this year, but we have a lot of speed as well,” said CTM manager Greg VanTassell. “We have a good middle of the lineup that can drive in runs. We have 4-5 kids that throw real well so that’s probably what we do best.”
Byrd gave up a run in the top of the frame that came after a opening walk to Cody Bishop, who promptly stole second. Bishop was gunned down attempting to steal third by Piney Bluff catcher Dalton Justice, but Byrd walked Alex McCracken in the process.
McCraken scored as he stole third and the catcher’s throw was high and wide to third and gave Pardner’s a short lived 1-0 lead.
After that frame Byrd settled in, and while he walked four in the game, no runner got to third the rest of the way. CTM scored two runs in each of the second, fifth and sixth frames to end it in six by the “10-5” rule.
What began as a pitchers duel between Miller and Nate Childress for six innings became a runaway win for Bojangles (4-1) as they cut loose for five runs in the seventh to put the contest away.
Lucas Hurley drove in a pair of runs in the top of the first with a double to center that plated Miller (single) and Cory Garland (fielder’s choice). Hurley was gunned down trying to stretch the hit to a triple by second baseman Kyle Moore’s relay throw.
In the second, Bojangles manufactured a run on a walk to Nick Fender, who scored on a groundout and an error by Mann Insurance on a stolen base attempt to give Bojangles a 3-0 lead.
“When we got the lead we just put our foot down on the gas and never let up,” Miller said. “The early runs set the tone of the game, and I relied on my fastball to blow it by them. My curveball wasn’t working, so it was mostly fastballs.”
Mann Insurance broke through for a run against Miller in the sixth as Chase Young walked and Hunter Townsend singled behind him to set up runners at first and second. Childress singled home a run, but Miller struck out the next three hitters he faced to end the threat.
Small ball was the order of the night for Bojangles in the seventh as both Doegan Kerr and Fender dropped RBI bunt hits to the Mann infield. When the carnage was over, the score stood 9-1 and the game was all but over.
In the sixth, Garland relieved Miller and struck out the side to close out the game and the win for Bojangles.
Pardner’s BBQ 100 000 — 1 0 5
Cabinet Top Masters 520 022 — 11 12 2
W—Jacob Byrd. L—Tyler White. DP—None. LOB—PB 3, CTM 6. 2B—Tipton.
Bojangles 211 000 5 — 9 6 0
Mann Ins. 000 001 0 — 1 3 2
W—Cameron Miller. L—Nate Childress. DP—Bojangles 1, HMI 1. LOB—B 6, HMI 7. 2B—Lucas Hurley.