Astros Move Into Playoff Spot; Spoil Potential Hoots Celebration

by Elliot Reeder

The Columbus Chatt-A-Hoots fell to the Gwinnett Astros 3-1 on Friday, July 22nd. The game was shortened to a 7-inning contest after the start was delayed due to a nearly 2.5 hour rain delay due to rain early in the evening. Columbus falls to 14-10, while Gwinnett improved to 10-13. 

Gwinnett scored the first run of the game in the top of the 3rd. Jacob Harper reached on a one-out double. He was then driven in by Braxton Maguiar with an RBI-single. 

The Astros then doubled their lead in the top of 5th. Chase Evans reached on a leadoff hit-by-pitch. Preston Welchel then singled to right field which allowed Evans to advance all the way to 3rd. Evans then came in to score on a wild pitch to push the lead to 2-0.

The Hoots got a run back in the bottom of 5th however to cut the lead in half to 2-1. Nico Senese led things off with an infield single and then he advanced to 2nd on an error on the play. Bryce Newman then singled, but Senese was not able to come around to score since the ball was hit so sharply. Senese would come in to score though shortly after as the Astros pitcher, Jayce James, balked in a run.

Gwinnett would respond right back to push their lead to 3-1 in the top of the 6th. Elgin Bennett was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Bennett then stole 2nd and advanced to 3rd on a passed ball. He was then driven in by a sac-fly from Devin Warner.

Clay Weatherly went 4 innings in the start with just 1 earned run allowed. He struck out 5 batters while giving up 5 hits. 

Jayce James got the win on the mound for Gwinnett, while Jeffrey Coy Martin got the save.

Zane Ross and Jesse Donohoe had the multi-hit games for the Hoots. Ross went 2 for 4 on the night. Donohoe went 2 for 3.

The Astros had the leadoff hitter reach in 5 out of 7 innings in the contest. Comparatively, Hoots got the lead off man on in just 3 of 7 innings.

The Hoots got a hit in every inning except the 7th, but managed just the 1 run.

The two teams will square off again on Saturday, July 23rd in a doubleheader (with both games being 7-inning contests). First pitch of Game one is scheduled for 4:05 Eastern.