Magnolia downs Fort Frye
BEVERLY – After being no-hit through six innings, the Fort Frye lineup was finally able to rally for three runs in the bottom of the seventh, but ultimately came up short as visiting Magnolia held on for a 5-3 victory Friday.
Blue Eagle righthander Zach Willhoite tossed six innings of no-hit baseball before getting into trouble in the final frame.
Down 5-0, Casey Hall led off the Caset seventh with an infield single to third for Fort Frye’s first base hit of the contest. Derek Layton followed with a sharp single to left field to put two on with nobody out.
After Caden Brooker was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Brad Martin grounded to first, but the throw to home plate was underthrown, allowing Hall to score Fort Frye’s initial run of the game.
Magnolia’s Kyle Elliott relieved Willhoite on the mound and proceeded to walk Tanner Rice on five pitches to plate Layton.
Elliott recovered by forcing the next two Cadet batters to pop up, bringing up Spencer Lang with the bases loaded and two outs. Lang grounded to shortstop, but the toss to second base was off the mark, allowing Brooker to cross the plate and make it a two-run game.
Needing a base hit to tie the game, Chandler Lang launched a line drive to left. The Magnolia left fielder initially misjudged the ball and it appeared it would go over his head, but he was able to recover and make a leaping catch to end the game.
Martin went the distance for the Cadets, striking out two batters and issuing no free passes.
“I thought Brad pitched a pretty good game,” said Fort Frye head coach Sonny Bidwell. “What Brad really does well is he throws strikes and give you a chance.”
The Cadets committed five errors in the field to the Magnolia’s three.
“We’ve still got to get better defensively,” Bidwell said. “Too many errors.
“Cut down a couple errors, don’t give them the base-runners and I think it’s a 3-2 game.”
For the Blue Eagles, Ryan Walton and Tanner Hanna collected three hits apiece. Willhoite and Grant Cain each added two base knocks. Overall, Magnolia put 13 in the hit column.
“A good team like that, they’re going to hit the ball,” Bidwell said. “They’re going to stroke it very well.”
Walton led off the game with a single up the middle, but was caught stealing. Later in the inning, two Fort Frye errors would lead to a run for Magnolia.
The Eagles tacked on another tally in the second as a double to left-center by Walton brought home Chase Miller to make it 2-0.