Swinging the bats
It was all about offense for East Rutherford on Wednesday as they outmatched Kings Mountain for an 8-5 win.
The Cavaliers' 3-4-5 hitters, John Bennett, Chase Jenkins and Jordan Strikland, combined for eight of the team's 12 hits to lead the charge.
"Those three are very capable and we've been waiting for one these breakout nights," East Rutherford head coach Bobby Reynolds said. "We're a little dangerous if those three can put it together at the same time."
Kings Mountain (4-7, 3-6 SMAC) led 3-1 in the third inning after a pair of home runs, one by Will Wilson on the first pitch of the game that bounced off the scoreboard and another by Alex Reynolds center field.
East Rutherford (8-4, 7-3 SMAC) responded in the bottom half of the frame with three runs to take its first lead of the game.
Strickland cut the lead in half with his second hit and second RBI of the night and Reese Oliver tied the score with a sacrifice fly to score Jenkins and tie the game at 3-3. James Hunt plated the go-ahead run with an RBI single before Kings Mountain pitcher Landon Bolin escaped the inning.
The Cavaliers tacked on four more in the fourth inning as the middle of the order continued to do more damage.
Bennett started the roll with a double to righ-center to score John Padgett from first base before Strikland stayed hot with his third hit and third RBI of the night to put East on top 6-3.
Oliver continued his hot night with a 2-run single into left to balloon the lead to 8-3.
Kings Mountain capitalized on two East Rutherford errors in the fifth with a pair of unearned runs cutting the Cavalier lead to 8-5, but that was it for both sides as Marcus Ledford shut down the Mountaineers the rest of the way for the save.
"We used our pitching by committee tonight and they did a good job," Reynolds said. "That's the way we planned it."
Bennett and Strickland ended the night with three hits apiece while Jenkins and Hunt each added a pair. The Cavaliers needed about every one of those hits as the defense committed a total of five errors.
Wednesday's win makes three in as many days for East Rutherford after losing two games the week prior.
"It always feels better when you win," Reynolds said. "It's easier to forget about five errors tomorrow when you win."
East Rutherford plays again on April 8 when they travel to East Burke for a 7 p.m. showdown with the Cavaliers from the neighboring county to the north.
HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL
at East Rutherford High School
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
E. RUTHERFORD 8, KINGS MTN. 5
Kings Mtn.^201^020^0^— 5 6 0
E. Rutherford^013^400^X^— 8 12 5
WP: Dylan Cromer
LP: Landon Bolin
SV: Marcus Ledford