9/10’s use fourth inning to key win
Posted By Sparta Live | June 30, 2008 12:00 am
Sparta’s 9/10 year old All Star opening game turned into a late night performance, but was a successful one as they captured an 11-4 win over Gallatin.
Less than two hours before time for the first pitch in the first game of the night, one of those patented scattered thunderstorms rolled through Sparta forcing officials to push back the start of the games to get the field ready for play. As a result, Sparta’s game, the second of the night, didn’t get started until approximately 9 p.m. It was past most nine year old’s bed time when the final out was recorded just after 11 p.m., but the local team was on the winning side of the score after holding off a Gallatin threat in the third inning.
Sparta built a 4-0 lead in the game and looked like they might break the game wide open in the second. Gallatin, however, stormed back with four of their own in the third inning knotting the score. Sparta held them scoreless the rest of the way taking the opening win.
Tyler Qualls got the start for Sparta and struck out three and walked one in the top of the first. The home team then responded with one run in the bottom of the inning. Jacob Fresh singled with one out. He stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. Qualls singled driving in Fresh, but was thrown out trying for second.
Qualls duplicated his performance on the mound in the second with another walk and three strikeouts. The lead off batter walked and went to second on a wild pitch, but was left stranded there.
The Sparta bats went to work in the bottom of the second. Joseph Stockton got things started by leading off with a double. Austin Glenn singled home Stockton and went to second on the throw home. Following a pop-up, Logan Swoape’s two run homer pushed the lead to 4-0. Sparta had an opportunity to tack on more runs. Trenton Hodge reached on an error, which was followed by a double by Fresh. Hodge was, however, caught between home and third ending the inning.
Gallatin got all four runs back in the top of the third. The lead off batter grounded out, but Qualls walked the next three loading the bases. A double to the fence plated two runs. A single drove in two more runs before Qualls issued his fourth walk of the frame. That brought about a pitching change with Jacob Fresh coming to the mound. He hit the first batter he faced, but got out of the inning with back-to-back outs leaving the bases loaded.
Sparta retook the lead with a run in the bottom of the third. Qualls led off with a single and went to second on a wild pitch. After a fly out, Stockton was hit by a pitch. Jakob Brock reached on an error loading the bases. Another error, this one off the bat of Tyler Randolph, scored Qualls giving Sparta the 5-4 lead.
After the lead off batter in the top of the fourth reached on an error, Fresh struck out the next three. The home team took control of the game in the bottom of the stanza and most of it came with two outs on the board. Trenton Hodges reached on an error. Back to back two-out singles by Qualls and Ethan Roberts drove Hodges home. Stockton doubled up the middle plating Roberts and Qualls. Brock joined Stockton on base. Tyler Randolph allowed both to trot home with his three run home run increasing the home team’s lead to 11-4.
Fresh kept the lead intact. The lead off batter again reached on an error, but a pair of fly ball sand a strikeout left that runner stranded.
Ethan Roberts came on to pitch the sixth for Sparta and struck out the side to nail down the win.
In 3 1/3 innings of work, Qualls allowed four runs on two hits. He struck out six and walked six. Fresh came on to pitch 2 2/3 innings. He did not give up a hit or a walk while striking out five. Roberts struck out all three batters he faced.
Qualls led Sparta at the plate picking up three hits. Jacob Fresh and Joseph Stockton had two hits each. Chipping in with one hit each were Austin Glenn, Ethan Roberts and the home run duo of Logan Swoape and Tyler Randolph.
Sparta’s 9/10 year old team returns to action tonight (Monday) at 6 p.m. against DeKalb County. After a day off on Tuesday, they will host Smith County Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.