Big Fourth inning dooms Trojans
For the first three innings, the Chase Trojans looked poised for another upset as Josh Epley limited the powerful Burns lineup to just one hit.
But the Bulldogs sent 10 men to the plate in the decisive fourth inning, scoring six runs to break open the game, eventually winning 11-0 in six innings.
The star for the Bulldogs was pitcher Ethan Carpenter who limited the Trojans to just two hits on the night.
“We were right in the game and then the wheels fell off,” said Chase coach Matt Tipton. “It was like we gave up a hit here and a walk there and you look up and it’s 8-0.”
After a three up, three down first inning by both teams, Chase (2-14, 1-8) pitcher Josh Epley found his strikeout pitch striking out two in the frame to leave the game scoreless.
The Trojans mounted a threat in the bottom half as Taylor Hardin led off with an infield single, but Bulldog pitcher Ethan Carpenter settled down and induced three ground balls to strand Hardin.
Epley ran into control problems in the third as he walked and hit a batter. Epley responded with another strikeout, but Brandon Alexander lined a RBI single down the leftfield line for a 1-0 Bulldog lead.
Epley’s control issues continued in the fourth as he walked his mound opponent on four-pitch walk. He scored later on a single by Phillip Black.
Two more RBI hits by the bottom of the Burns lineup made the tally 4-0.
A wild pitch by Epley and a two-run triple by Bivins broke the game open at 7-0 before Chase could escape the inning.
Epley led off the bottom half with a single down the third base line but was thrown out trying to go to second. The rest of the Trojan order went quietly to the score at 7-0.
Chase ran into more trouble in the fifth. Two wild pitches by Epley put a runner on third with one out. Pinch hitter Colby Cresswell drove him in with a single to up 8-0.
Chase finally looked to get on the board in their next at bat as Caleb Lancaster reached on an infield single, but three straight ground balls kept the home team scoreless.
Black plated to more Bulldog runs with a one out triple in the sixth. Burns added one more run in the inning to make the score 11-0.
Chase then went in order as the game was called due to the mercy rule.
Chase returns home for the final time Monday as they host Shelby at 7 p.m.