'Dogs take one of two vs. UH

By Wes Holtsclaw

   Hampton Bulldog baseball coach Scotty Bunton was shaking his head like a lot of his team's fans Monday afternoon.
   In the second game of a doubleheader, the University High Junior Bucs went through four Bulldog pitchers and came back from a 7-0 deficit to emerge victorious with a 14-8 decision.
   Hampton got off to an good start in the first game, and held off a late charge from the Bucs to win 5-3 at Hampton High School.
   "Somebody blinked over here and it got away from us," said Bunton of the second game. "We came out and walked two hitters and they started hitting behind it. Of course, when you let people on base, they get up and get excited.
   "What we needed to do was answer when we came back in here, but we left too many men on. They battled back and hit the baseball like they were supposed to, then my other pitching let me down in the end."
   The Bulldogs scored two runs in the first inning of the second game. Ben Harrison, Adam Miller and Dustin Crumley had three straight hits during the frame, with the final two driving a run across the plate.
   Hampton broke loose in the second inning with five more runs after a Cody Montgomery walk and Zack Trivett single. Montgomery and Trivett got across the plate after a ball was overthrown.
   Justin Waycaster singled and stole a run on a Harrison fielder's choice, while Harrison scored on a Dustin Crumley single. Crumley was the last to cross with a Brandon Barnett hit.
   Ryne Heaton got University High on the scoreboard in the third inning, with his single setting up an RBI hit from Garrison Burton.
   It was a sign of things to come for the Junior Bucs.
   Walks to Ryan Collins and Morgan Woodacre set off a hitting spree with RBI singles from N. Matthews and Heaton. Tyler Blevins walked to load the bases, but a pitching change didn't help the 'Dogs.
   Two sacrifice flies into center field from Hoyle and John Sams, and a pair of doubles from Burton and Brandon Bishop tied the game.
   Hampton regained the lead periodically when Miller walked and scored off an error, but UH wasn't finished.
   Walks to Blevins and Matthews with a single from Heaton brought Miller on the mound for the 'Dogs. Miller hit two batters, with a walk and a hit producing runs before freshman Josh Cole took the mound.
   Cole, who was victorious in the first game, gave up a two-run single to Collins and a sacrifice RBI from Woodacre.
   Hoyle struck out the side in Hampton's final chance at recovery, giving the Junior Bucs the victory.
   "We finally hit the baseball," said University High coach Pat Heaton. "We had a hard time catching up in baseball this year with the basketball players being late, as everybody else is. Hitting the baseball is a lot easier and we've finally started and I was real proud of the boys."
   "Some of our guys are a little tentative at the plate," he said. "We need to be a little aggressive and we're learning that."
   As for Hampton, the team has had a hard time scoring late in games.
   "That's been the story of us so far, hitting the baseball early," added Bunton. "We did that against Erwin, against Central, against everybody so far."
   "We can't finish," he said. "We don't have that anywhere down the line-up. I don't know if that's a lack of training or conditioning. It's a lack of something."
   The Junior Bucs got going in the first game, when Tyler Blevins singled and scored off a Toby Hoyle hit.
   Hampton scored all five of its runs in their first offensive stanza.
   Waycaster walked before scoring on a Ben Harrison triple to get things going. After two outs, Dustin Crumley and Brandon Barnett took bases on a fielder's choice and walk to set up Zack Crabtree.
   Crabtree tomahawked a shot over the left-field fence, bringing three runs across the plate.
   Gene Sanchez scored the final 'Dog run after his walk, when Zack Trivett singled him home.
   Blevins also scored in the third and fifth innings for the Junior Bucs off a Burton hit in the third and a sacrificed grounder from Hoyle in the fifth.
   The Bulldogs had loaded bases in the second and third innings of the first game, and left two on in the fourth inning but managed to hold on with strong pitching and defense.
   Cole picked up the win with four strikeouts, while giving up seven hits.
   "I'm expecting good things from him," said Bunton. "I wound up having to put him back in the end (of the second game). I didn't expect to have to do that, but it's the nature of the game I guess."
   Trivett finished the afternoon with four hits to lead Hampton, while Harrison and Barnett added three.
   Burton had four hits for University High, while Heaton and Blevins tallied three.