Scots fry Colonels for spring break
By Austin Bornheim | (email@example.com)
With two out and the bases loaded, Maryville College’s Nick Dean stepped to the plate in the bottom of the third.
With a crisp not-quite-spring breeze blowing across the diamond, the redshirt sophomore dug his right heel into the batters box.
The shortstop connected on the first pitch from Centre starter Charlie Grigsby and sent it screaming down the third base line, picking up chalk on its way past the defenseless third baseman. The hot-shot grounder found its way to the left field fence, allowing all three base runners to come home as the Scots cruised to a 9-1 nonconference victory in the series opener.
“I had a good approach at the plate today,” Dean said. “We came in with a good mindset and I got some good pitches to hit and took advantage of them. Last series I struggled a little bit and was out in front of everything, but I think I did a good job of staying back and was seeing it well.”
The Scots (11-11) plated one more run in the frame to go ahead 4-0 en route to the convincing in the first of a two-game series.
“Our guys were pretty tired after a tough weekend,” Maryville head coach Paul Henry said. “But I think we came back and responded in a big way today.”
Dean, who would finished the day going 3-for-5 with two doubles and five RBIs, was not the only Maryville player to get in on the action. Designated hitter Landon Talley chipped in his fair share, with a 3-for-4 outing and two RBIs.
“He (Dean) a catalyst and a couple other guys who are really good for us offensively and when they get going we are usually pretty good,” Henry said.
Coming off a shoulder injury that sidelined him last week, sophomore pitcher Keylon Holloway (W) returned to the mound for the Scots.
The right-hander looked strong in his return, throwing five innings of three hit ball and striking out two.
“Whenever they (his teammates) got four runs it was definitely a relief,” Holloway said. “I knew I just had to go back out there and throw strikes and get groundballs.”
With Holloway’s day finished after five innings, Henry gave a handful of young pitchers midweek work. Four pitchers threw an inning each to close out the game for the Scots.
“With Spring Break we have eight games over a nine-day period, so we need to give everybody some work,” Henry said. “We can’t rely on five guys to get through eight games. We won’t do it. We’ll run out of gas. So it’s really important for those guys who threw today to get some work in.”
Though Maryville had a comfortable leading heading into the final third of the contest the Scots did not letup, pushing four more across in the seventh and eighth.
Henry commented that he was pleased with teams approach at the plate late in the game.
“We have been preaching to our guys to finish strong and really put teams away when we’re ahead,” Henry said. “It’s good that we came out and put a team away that we really needed to beat today.”
The two teams will meet for the second game of the series at 3 p.m. this afternoon.