Phoenix bat­tle back but fall on late runs from Dal­ton

Sono­rav­ille gets strong out­ing, timely hits, but Cata­mounts deal last blow

Calhoun Times - - SPORTS SATURDAY - By Tyler Ser­ritt

De­spite a steady start­ing pitch­ing out­ing and timely pro­duc­tion from up and down the lineup, the Sono­rav­ille Phoenix were nar­rowly de­feated 6-4 in a highly com­pet­i­tive, back-and-forth home- opener against the Dal­ton Cata­mounts on Tues­day.

The Phoenix (1-2) of­fense was able to chip away at Dal­ton (5-0) pitcher Har­ri­son Nor­man in the first cou­ple of frames, as lead­off hit­ter Chase Kirby reached base on a sin­gle, stole sec­ond base and even­tu­ally scored on a passed ball to put the team on the board. Kirby fin­ished the con­test 2- for- 3 at the plate with a pair of swiped bags.

“We call Kirby our party-starter, and if he isn’t hit­ting well the team isn’t hit­ting well,” Sono­rav­ille head coach Daniel McArthur said.

“He gets us go­ing, and get­ting him into a groove is im­por­tant for us. I was proud of the night he had, and hope it’s a sign of things to come.”

As the first con­tin­ued, Nor­man pro­ceeded to walk Matthew Vin­cent and Tyler Lyles and per­mit­ted a base knock from Gage Soulios to load the bases for Storm Carnes, who promptly de­liv­ered for the Phoenix by slic­ing an RBI-sin­gle to the right side that pushed the tally to 2-0.

Cou­pling with Sono­rav­ille’s quick start at the plate, start­ing pitcher Avery Hop­per took the mound and struck out the first four Cata­mounts he faced. How­ever, the tena­cious Dal­ton lineup was able to knot up the score 2-2 in the top of the sec­ond with a pair of dou­bles from Rhett Ham­mon­tree and Jack Ri­d­ley and an RBI- sin­gle from Kaleb Valdez.

A com­mon theme through­out the game, the Phoenix were able to an­swer back in the bot­tom por­tion of the in­ning when Beau Bullard and Kirby sin­gled, Wy­att Cas­toe was hit by a pitch and Vin­cent was ad­di­tion­ally clipped by a pitch to score Bullard and move the score to 3-2.

Un­for­tu­nately for Sono­rav­ille, the Cata­mounts mounted an­other come­back in the fourth when Valdez made an­other im­pact­ful trip to the plate by lac­ing a twoRBI sin­gle to snag a 4-3 lead.

Al­though he did al­low four runs to cross be­fore be­ing subbed for re­lief pitcher Collin Bridges in the fifth, Hop­per racked up 10 strike­outs over four frames while im­pres­sively ma­neu­ver­ing out of a hand­ful jams to keep the Phoenix in the game.

Bridges punched out three bat­ters over three in­nings of work.

“We will need these types of per­for­mances from Hop­per all sea­son,” McArthur said.

“He started to la­bor a bit there to­wards the mid­dle of the game, but it is still early in the sea­son so that is to be ex­pected. But I was very pleased with his per­for­mance over­all.”

Sono­rav­ille proved to have one more rally in them in the fifth when Dal­ton called upon Har­ri­son Hughes to relieve Nor­man. Soulios, the first bat­ter he faced, swiftly greeted him by squar­ing up a pitch and de­posit­ing it over right-cen­ter field for a solo home run to once again even the score at 4-4.

“Gage was due, and hope­fully that will get him go­ing for the rest of the sea­son,” McArthur said. “He has a ton of pop, so when he’s able to run into one it al­ways has a chance.”

Af­ter a quiet sixth in­ning for both squads, the mo­men­tum took a fi­nal swing in the Cata­mounts di­rec­tion in the top of the sev­enth. Af­ter a mis­played ball in the out­field placed Nor­man on base, JP Tighe took ad­van­tage with a tow­er­ing, clutch two-run homer of his own. Hughes was then able to shut the Phoenix out in the bot­tom of the sev­enth to se­cure the win.

“Over­all, we gave our­selves a chance, but we made a few men­tal er­rors that they were able to cap­i­tal­ize on,” McArthur said. “We left too many run­ners on base, but those are the type of things we will get bet­ter at. That was the dif­fer­ence in the game.”

Sono­rav­ille was sched­uled to take on Wood­land on Thurs­day in a non-re­gion con­test, de­pend­ing on the weather. (For de­tails on that game, see Wed­nes­day’s Cal­houn Times.)

They will be back at home on Tues­day to host Wood­land at 4:30 p.m.

LARRY GREESON / For the Cal­houn Times

Sono­rav­ille’s Avery Hop­per de­liv­ers a pitch to the plate dur­ing the sec­ond in­ning of Tues­day’s game against Dal­ton.

LARRY GREESON / For the Cal­houn Times

Sono­rav­ille’s Chase Kirby (8) stands in the box dur­ing Tues­day’s game against Dal­ton.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.