William Monroe High School’s varsity baseball team fell to visiting Orange County High School 2-1 last Thursday in the team’s first home game of the season.
Hornets Brett Jennings and Caleb Fincham delivered solid pitching performances, holding the Dragons to only one run.
“We’ve had two tough games in a row. Orange County’s got really good high school pitching,” Monroe head coach Mike Maynard said. “They’ve pitched really well for two games and we lost 10 in eight innings at their place and 2-1 here.”
Orange County’s Zach Redifer doubled deep to centerfield, driving in Tucker Hensley at the top of the fourth. However, the Dragons’ defense kept the Hornets from doing anymore damage as Logan Jones hit cut-off man Braydon Collier who fired home to Jonathan Sexton to nab Canon Davies at the plate and end the theft.
Monroe responded in the bottom of the fifth, tying the game at 1-1 after sophomore Max Kinsey scored after a pair of errors and walks. Alex Kinsey popped up to end the inning, but the Dragons were unable to cross home plate again.
“The bats just haven’t woken up yet,” Maynard said. “We’ve got to score more runs in a high school game then one run tonight and zero at their place. Their pitchers threw really well, but we’ve got to have better at bats.”
Orange scored the winning run in the top of the seventh. Fincham led off by reaching first on a hit-by-pitch and was replaced with courtesy runner Hylton Hale. After the Dragons’ Lance Tate struck out the next two hornets, Christian Koontz doubled to left to plate the winning run.
Tate struck out five in three innings, while Collier yielded only one hit in two innings. Derek Ryan had two hits for the Dragons.
William Monroe (0-2) will face Madison County High School tomorrow, March 22, at 6 p.m. at home.
“We saw some good things, we’ve just got to hope the bats wake up,” Maynard said. “It’s a little tough right now and the guys are a little down. It’s a long season; we’ve just got to fight through this.”
In their first road game at Orange on March 12, Monroe fell 10 in eight innings against the Hornets. Orange’s Kyle Johnson had three hits and drove in the only run the Hornets would need in a 1-0 win over William Monroe last Tuesday. The Hornets kicked off their 2019 season with a combined shutout from Canon Davies and Caleb Fincham, who held the visiting Greene Dragons to five hits. Davies struck out nine in six and two-thirds innings. Fincham pitched a hitless, scoreless inning and a third to pick up the win. The two teams traded zeroes on the scoreboard through the first seven innings until Orange scratched across a run in the bottom of the eighth.
Fincham drew a leadoff walk from Dragons’ hurler Reilly Owen and was replaced by courtesy runner Hylton Hale. Michael Pritchett reached a bunt single, advancing Hale into scoring position. After a strikeout, Christian Koontz walked to load the bases. Johnson’s third hit of the night was the most important as it plated Hale with the winning run.
Orange had six hits in the win and drew eight walks off Monroe pitchers. Koontz had three walks. Jonathan Sexton had two of Monroe’s five hits. Owen pitched four and a third innings and struck out 10 for the Dragons.