On Friday June 5, the Dave Dunaway Legals took on the Lake City squad in Caryville Dixie Youth League 11-12 year old baseball action at Asbury Park.
Legals’ head coach Jim Lane selected Ethan Jeffers to start. Previously on May 5, Jeffers threw a no-hitter against Lake City.
Lake City jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first with a single, two walks, a stolen base, a passed ball and an error. In the bottom half of the first, the Legals evened the score on a walk to Tyler Loveday, a single by Bryson Phillips and a double by Andrew Blake Evans.
Jeffers retired the side in the top of the second, aided by a spectacular putout by Phillips, the third baseman.
In the bottom of the second, catcher Brandon James singled and then stole second, third and home to give the Legals a 2-1 lead.
In the top of the third, Jeffers fanned the first two hitters before being touched by two singles and a walk that tied the score 2-2. A perfect relay from centerfielder Tyler Loveday to Jeffers to catcher Brandon James stopped the rally and the inning.
The Legals were retired in order in the bottom of the third.
Jeffers did not give up a hit in the fourth, but Lake City took the lead, 3-2, on three bases on balls and two stolen bases.
In the bottom of the fourth, Lane gave a pep talk to his squad and the Legals responded.
Phillips singled, Evans walked, and both players scored on a 2-run single by James Andrew Evans. With one out, Derek Harmon reached base on a walk before James sliced his second hit of the night, driving in a runner. Austin Goodman walked to load the bases before Trevor Duncan drove in two with a double. Logan Ivy reached base on a catcher’s interferences, thus loading the bases again. Kyle McCarty’s walk drove in another run. With two-out, Loveday drove in two more runs with a double to top off an 8-run inning in which 13 batters came to the plate.
After throwing 86 pitches Lane pulled Jeffers from pitching and replaced him with Phillips, who worked two scoreless innings to get his second save of the year.
Phillips gave up no hits, walked one, hit one, and struck out three batters. Jeffers got the win with four innings pitched, three hits allowed, seven walks, six strikeouts and two earned runs.
Jeffers record improved to 2-0. The Legals added two additional runs in the 5th with a walk to Andrew Blake Evans, who stole second, third and home; Mack Broyles also walked and scored on a catcher’s error. The Legals won with a final score of 12-3.
The very next day, June 6, the two squads faced off for the last time this season. In the previous four meetings, the Legals came out on top in all four; three by contests and one by forfeit. Lane gave the ball to Andrew Blake Evans.
In the top of the first inning, Jeffers walked, Phillips, Loveday and Andrew Blake Evans singled, James Andrew Evans was hit by a pitch and Derek Harmon unloaded a 2-run double to give the Legals a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, Evans fanned three batters. However, a walk, single and a lazy fly ball that dropped for a double produced two runs. Lake City held the Legals scoreless in the second. In the bottom of the second, Evans whiffed the first two batters before giving up a single that bounced off his glove and rolled slowly to shortstop Austin Goodman, who had no chance to throw the runner out. Two more “seeing-eye” ground balls rolled through a sluggish infield, producing two more runs before Evans fielded a ground ball and threw to first baseman James Andrew Evans for the final out.
In the top of third, the Legals could only muster a double by Phillips, who was left stranded. In the bottom of the third, Andrew Blake Evans needed just 13 pitches to get a groundout (Evans to Evans) and get two batters looking on third strikes.
In the top of the fourth, James Andrew Evans led off with a single and Broyles doubled. Harmon drove in Evans with a sacrifice, making the score 4-4.
In the bottom of the fourth, Evans struck out the first batter and gave up a walk. A lazy fly ball dropped for a double, another single deflected off Andrew Evans’ glove, an infield error and another single produced five runs. Evans stopped the bleeding by striking out the last two hitters.
The Legals attempted a comeback in the top of the 5th when Ivy led off with a single and moved over to second on McCarty’s sacrifice. Back-to-back singles by Jeffers and Loveday were followed by a 2-run double by Phillips before Andrew Blake Evans grounded out third to first to end the game with the Legals losing to Lake City, 9-6.
The Legals, who claimed the regular season championship, now have a 7-2 record with one game remaining tonight (Thurs.) vs. Eagle Tire.
Andrew Blake Evans walked only two batters and struck out 10 in the loss. Phillips went 2-for-2, raising his season average to .824.