Hoots Sweep Bucks in Doubleheader

by Daniel Wilson

Columbus – The Columbus Chatt-a-Hoots (11-12) earned a doubleheader sweep against the Brookhaven Bucks (11-14) at Golden Park Saturday afternoon 11-1 in Game One and 11-5 in Game Two.

Columbus outscored Brookhaven by a combined 22-6 in the doubleheader sweep to move past the two-time defending champion Bucks into fifth place in the Sunbelt standings.  With a win tomorrow against the Marietta Patriots, they would clinch a playoff birth in their first year of existence.

The losses are Brookhaven’s sixth straight and their eighth out of their last nine games.  They currently sit three games ahead of the Waleska Wild Things for the sixth and final playoff spot.

Cole Mathis led all batters with five combined hits in both games.  Cameron Gray and Austin Embrey also went 2-for-3 for the Hoots in Game One, and Josh Heath went a perfect 3-for-3 with two RBIs in Game Two.

Both Rob Gordon and Henry Geis each had two hits to lead the Bucks in Game Two, and Noah Dawkins brought home their only run in the first game with a solo homer in the fourth inning.

Game One: Columbus 11, Brookhaven 1

Columbus jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a home run by Zac Rice in the first inning.  The teams completed 1-2/3 innings on Friday, its original start date, and then finished the game on Saturday.

The score remained 2-0 until the fourth when Dawkins homered to cut the deficit to one, but that was as close as the Bucks would get as the Chatt-a-Hoots rattled off nine unanswered runs.

The Hoots capitalized on three errors to score one run in the fourth and two in the fifth, and then broke the game open with three runs in the sixth.

Ellis Yohn led off the inning with a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a base hit by Bryce Newman.  Cameron Gray then added a sacrifice fly and Cole Mathis hit an RBI double to give the Hoots a commanding 8-1 lead.

The Hoots then added three more runs in the seventh to complete the run-rule victory.

Logan Seehafer (3-1) pitched 2.1 innings of relief for the Chatt-a-Hoots when the game resumed Saturday and allowed one run on three hits with three strikeouts to earn the win.  Clay Weatherly tossed the final three innings for the Hoots and allowed no runs on one hit with a walk and six strikeouts to earn his first save of the season.  Bucks starter Britt Kelly (0-4) took the loss.

Game Two: Columbus 11, Brookhaven 5

Brookhaven jumped out front with two runs on two hits and an error in the first inning.  But Columbus answered with two runs of their own in the bottom half on a base hit by Cole Mathis and subsequent error to make it 2-2.  Will Hensley then hit a lead-off double for the Bucks in the second, advanced to third on a pass ball and scored on a base hit by Henry Gies to give them a 3-2 lead.

The score remained that way until the third as Columbus loaded the bases with three walks.  Connor O’Neal then evened the game with a bases-loaded walk, and Austin Embrey cleared the bases with a single to right field coupled with an error at third base to put the Hoots up 6-3.

The Chatt-a-Hoots scored a run in each of the final three innings; one in the fourth on an error, one in the fifth on a wild pitch, and then three in the sixth on base-hits by Cameron Gray and Jesse Donohoe.

Rob Gordon homered for the Bucks in the fifth, and Will Hensley delivered a sacrifice fly in the sixth, but that was all they could manage for the remainder of the game.

Bucks starter Brendan Parks (0-3) took the loss, allowing six runs, five earned, on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts in 2.2 innings.  Luke Davis (2-1) earned the win.

The Chatt-a-Hoots will return to action on Sunday, July 25 in a doubleheader against the Marietta Patriots at 2:30 p.m.  The Bucks will travel to Reinhardt University to face the Waleska Wild Things in a doubleheader on Monday, July 26 at 6 p.m.

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