Massive First-Inning Propels Hoots To 7-3 Win
Columbus, GA - The Columbus Chatt-a-Hoots sent 12 batters to the plate in the first inning, plating seven runs and getting stellar pitching out of the pen to defeat the Waleska Wild Things in a battle of division leaders.
After Jesse Donohoe recorded the 2nd out of the bottom of the 1st inning from the 3-hole spot, eight different batters reached base for a two-out rally of epic proportions to give Columbus a 7-0 lead early. Conner O'Neal's reach on an error scored the first run, and then Simms Owens and Nico Senese each batted in two runs on his of their own. The inning was nearly over when Zane Ross struck out in his second at-bat of the inning but a dropped third strike allowed him to advance and extend the inning. Ellis Yohn being tagged out on a short ground ball ended the rally for Columbus.
Clay Weatherly, the Hoots starter, only went two pitches deep into the second inning when Hoots manager Steve Smith pulled him from the game with an apparent injury plaguing Weatherly. He was relived by Ryan Middleton who finished the inning strong.
In the third inning Waleska got on the board with a solo home run from Cole Kosco to lead things off. Waleska added another run on an RBI fielder's choice before the inning was over.
Brad Grasser went four innings strong through the middle of the game scattering three hits and giving up only one unearned run and striking out four. He would eventually record the win to move his record to 1-1.
In the fifth inning a passed ball allowed Kosco to score to cut the lead to four, but it was all the offense Waleska could manage as Grasser, Blair (two innings) and Pearce (one inning) closed out the game strong in the pen.
With the win the Hoots move to 5-4 on the season a game and a half ahead of the Gwinnett Astros for the West division lead. In results elsewhere Gainesville passes Waleska for the East Division lead.
The same two teams close a weekend series at Golden Park on Saturday. 7:05 first pitch, tickets available at gohoots.com/tickets