Hoots Win In Run-Rule Fashion For Home Finale; Clinch 2nd Seed In Playoffs

by Zak DeBeaussaert

The Columbus Chatt-A-Hoots locked up the #2 seed in the Sunbelt Baseball League playoffs with a 10-0 run-rule win over the Choccolocco Monsters on Monday, July 25th.

The Hoots got out in front early with 2 runs in the bottom of the 2nd. Jesse Donohoe led off the inning with a single. Britt Netterville then picked up an RBI-double right field to drive in Donohoe for the games first run. Then came a very chaotic play to bring in Netterville. Conner O’Neal singled to right field with Netterville coming around to score, O’Neal then advanced to 2nd and tried to take 3rd, but was thrown out (8-6-5) at 3rd on the play. It ended up going down as a single (with Netterville scoring), an E9, and then a putout at 3rd.

2 more Hoots runs were tacked on in the bottom of the 4th. Donohoe once again reached to lead off the inning, this time with a walk. After an out, O’Neal then picked up another big hit, this time a 2-run homer to right field to double the lead to 4-0.

The Hoots then blew the game open in the bottom of the 5th. All of the damage came with 2 outs in the inning. Cam Gray was hit by a pitch. Ellis Yohn then picked up a single with Gray advancing to 3rd. Donohoe then added a RBI-single to drive in Gray. Britt Netterville then put the game away with a 2-RBI double to the left center field gap. His hit drove in Yohn and Donohoe. Netterville was eventually retired on the play as he tried to take 3rd base on the throw to plate. The throw was cutoff however and the throw was made to 3rd base to retire Netterville. The double pushed the score to 7-0 however.

Columbus was able to finish off the run-rule victory in the bottom of the 8th inning. Nico Senese singled to start the inning off. Jonathan Manibusan then reached on a single with both he and Senese advancing another base on an error in centerfield by the Monsters. Senese then came in to score on a sacrifice-fly by Cooper Krause. A pinch-hitting Walt McConnell then reached as he was hit by a pitch. He was then pinch-ran for by Matthew Pearce. Another pinch-hitter in Bryce Valero then drew a walk to load the bases. Gray then finished the game off with a 2-RBI single that scored Senese and Pearce to push the lead to 10-0 to end the game in an 8 inning run-rule contest. 

Brad Grasser was great in the start for Columbus. He went 6 innings of shutout ball. He struck out 5 batters while allowing just 3 hits and 2 walks.

Overall, Gray went 3 for 4 at the plate with 2 RBI and a run scored.

O’Neal went 3 for 4 as well on top of 3 RBI and another run scored. 

Donohoe, Netterville, and Senese all also had multi-hit games as they all picked up 2 hits apiece. Netterville drove in 3 RBI with his hits, while Donohoe came around to score 3 times in the game.

The Hoots will wrap up their regular season on Tuesday night in Choccolocco against the Monsters. With the 2-seed wrapped up, Columbus will get a bye into the semifinals which will begin on Friday night.