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HILLSVILLE –– After a day like Thursday, a day like Friday couldn’t have come soon enough.
Twenty-four hours after a discouraging 10-run loss at Richlands, Carroll County bounced back offensively in a big way, pounding out seven extra-base hits, including three home runs, in a 15-2 win over Marion at Bill Worrell Field.
The game was halted after five on the 10-run rule.
“We played really well Wednesday and then we didn’t show up at all yesterday,” Carroll County coach Joe Tompkins said of an 11-0 win over Grayson County that preceded a sloppy 12-2 loss at Richlands. “I was happy to see us come out and bounce back like we did. We needed to do that.”
Having already played two games in two days that didn’t make it the full seven innings, Friday’s win appeared destined for the same course after the Cavaliers (9-6 overall, 6-3 district) led 12-0 after two innings.
Carroll’s power surge began with its first batter of the day as Reece Edwards drilled a triple into the right-centerfield gap, scoring on Brandon Lineberry’s single up the middle. Jordan Lamb followed with a towering two-run homer over the road beyond leftfield for a 3-0 lead four batters into the bottom of the first.
The Cavaliers were just getting started.
A massive second left nothing in question but the final score. Tyler Snow tripled to knock in Dillon Bryant, and courtesy runner Kris Musser sprinted home on a wild pitch. Another RBI single by Lineberry and back-to-back bases-loaded walks had the Cavaliers up 8-0 with the bases filled and still just one out.
Marion reliever Colin Gullion was able to get out of the bases-loaded jam, but only because Bryant emptied the basepaths by unleashing a grand slam to left, capping a nine-run turn at bat for the Cavaliers.
Lamb clubbed his second homer of the day, a three-run no-doubter to left with none out in the third, for the Cavaliers’ final runs of the day. He and Bryant combined for nine RBIs, Lamb with five driven in and Bryant adding four on his granny.
Garrett Nelson was never in trouble on the mound for the Cavaliers, giving up a two-out double in the first inning and a harmless single in the third. Marion’s only runs came when pinch hitter Logan Armstrong met a Nelson fastball for a two-run homer in the top of the fourth. Armstrong showboated his way around the bases, walking the final 30 feet, and teammate Dusty Hall paid Armstrong’s penance by taking Nelson’s next offering in the ribs. It was the last baserunner allowed by the junior righthander.
“Garrett was in control all day,” Tompkins said. “When your offense is scoring a lot of runs it’s hard for a pitcher to stay focused during those long innings, but Garrett kept his mind on what he had to do and he did his job.”
Nelson allowed just three hits, walked none and struck out seven. The Cavaliers tagged three Marion pitchers for 12 hits, two each by Lamb and Lineberry.