Atkins pitches 1-hitter to lead Trojans to victory

Atkins pitches 1-hitter to lead Trojans to victory

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Atkins pitches 1-hitter to lead Trojans to victory

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One advantage to playing your cross-town rival on back-to-back days is not having to wait long for a chance at redemption.

Just ask members of the third-ranked West High baseball team.

They only had to wait approximately 24 hours to get another shot against City High, and the quick turnaround proved beneficial.

Junior Tyus Adkins pitched a complete game one-hitter and senior centerfielder Ezra Reiners had two hits, including a solo home run, to lift West to a 5-1 victory over City on Tuesday at Trojan Field.

“We have football guys (on this team) and the beauty of baseball is you don’t have to wait a week and you get to come at it the next day with the short turnaround,” West coach Charlie Stumpff said. “And our guys responded well.

“Ezra really responded and did a good job offensively. And it starts on the mound. Tyus was outstanding. He threw a lot of strikes and had good command.”

Tuesday’s victory came a day after the Little Hawks hung on to defeat West 6-4 at Mercer Park in a game that included more walks (15) than base hits (12).

The victory also improved West’s records to 26-7 overall and 17-4 in the Mississippi Valley Conference, while City fell to 16-18 overall and 10-12 in conference play.

Adkins had only one strikeout over the first six innings before striking out all three batters that he faced in the seventh inning. He improved his record to 8-0 on the season.

“We just wanted to go right after them,” said Adkins, who helped his cause at the plate with two singles. “Last night they played inspired and tonight we wanted to play inspired.”

West scored the game’s first two runs in the bottom of second inning despite having only one hit. Adkins singled to start the inning and gave way to pinch runner Brock Hatzky, who stole second and third. Hatzky scored the first run of the game on a throwing error by City catcher Josh Crosby. West scored its second run on a fielder’s choice.

West expanded the lead to 3-0 when Reiners smacked a solo home run in the bottom of the third. Reiners also drove in West’s fourth run with a double in the fourth inning, and he made a nifty catch on a line drive hit by Jack Frakes to the gap between left field and center field with two runners on base to end the top of the third inning.

“I feel so comfortable with him out there,” Adkins said of Reiners. “I know he’ll get to any ball that’s hit out there.”

Adkins held City without a hit until designated hitter Eric Kenney laced a double down the right field line with one out in the fifth inning. Kenney was stranded at second base, though, as Adkins got Mitch Hasler to pop out to right field and J.J. Gevock to ground out to the pitcher.

City scored its only run of the game in the sixth inning on a throwing error by shortstop Sam Searls. Junior second baseman Mitch Weiland walked to start the inning and scored on Searls’ throwing error to first base on a grounder hit by Crosby.

But Adkins squashed any chance for a Little Hawk rally by picking Crosby off second base for the third out.

Adkins also helped his cause by walking just two batters.

“I just wanted to pound it in the strike zone and make them swing,” Adkins said. “I’ll let our defense work behind me.”

City High 000 001 0 1 1 3
West High 021 101 x 5 6 3

Quinton Forrester, Nate Goddard (3), Tyler Stika (4), Josh Crosby (6) and Josh Crosby, Stika (6). Tyus Adkins and Colin Baker. SB – Brock Hatzky (W) 2. 2B – Eric Kenney (C). HR – Ezra Reiners (W).

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