After an upsetting loss to Carl Junction Tuesday night, Rogersville knocked off the Pirates in pool play of the Branson Tournament, thanks in large part to two homeruns which provided the Wildcats’ with a large victory, 14-5.
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“We didn’t play very well yesterday against Carl Junction, so our approach all year has been to try and hit the ball hard to right and center field, utilizing the whole part of field. And we did that today. We played simple, solid baseball,” said Rogersville coach Casey Ledl.
The Wildcats jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning after a Bailey Jenkins’ single and Dayton Karr drawing a hit-by-pitch, which was then followed by a 3-run blast to left-center by the senior starting pitcher, Justin King.
“I was just trying to go to the opposite field, and hit the ball where it was pitched. I made pretty good contact with it, and the wind helped too,” said King. “Every time I get a lead, it helps my confidence on the mound. I just wanted to keep the ball low and the batters off balance.”
And King did just that, striking out seven Pirate batters and only walking two through five innings.
Rogersville would find more offensive success in the top of the third inning, scoring five runs and claiming their second homerun of the game from Garrett Jernigan.
“Ultimately, I was just trying to make good contact with the ball, and it went over the fence,” said Jernigan. “We had a different approach at the plate today as a team, than we did yesterday. We focused more on going to the opposite field, instead of trying to hit one over.”
Branson would put up their biggest fight in the bottom of the third, scoring four runs off of four hits.
Though, the Pirates ran into a cold defensive spell, committing five errors in the fifth inning alone. Rogersville then tacked on five more runs in result, taking home their third win of the season (3-1).
“Branson is a well-coached team, very fundamentally sound, but we got lucky getting to play off their defensive errors. That doesn’t happen very often,” said Ledl. “We’re just trying to be as consistent as we can be this far into the season. We’ve got two big wins early, and then we played what I would consider ‘very badly’ yesterday. We’re up today with a win, so building back some momentum will be nice.”
Rogersville: 3 0 5 1 5 0 0 = 14 / 15 / 2
Branson: 0 1 4 0 0 0 0 = 5 / 11 / 6