Late rallies lift Jordan-Matthews to tournament victory over Union Pines

Posted 4/26/19

SILER CITY — In a wild marathon contest that lasted 15 minutes short of three hours, Jordan-Matthews rallied twice in the late innings to overcome a pair of huge deficits and deal Union Pines a …

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Late rallies lift Jordan-Matthews to tournament victory over Union Pines

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SILER CITY — In a wild marathon contest that lasted 15 minutes short of three hours, Jordan-Matthews rallied twice in the late innings to overcome a pair of huge deficits and deal Union Pines a 10-9 defeat on Jimmy Warfford Field Saturday night in day-two play of the second annual J-M Easter Classic.

With their come-from-behind triumph the Jets improved to 10-7 for the year, whereas the Vikings saw their overall record evened at 9-9.

Kevin Cano, the last of four Jordan-Matthews’ pitchers, threw one and two-third innings to pick up the win, giving up one hit while walking one and striking out a pair.

Jets’ starter Camden Fuquay went three and two-third innings and was rocked for seven hits and six runs (two earned) in addition to issuing two free passes and fanning four.

Chris Rios hurled one and two-third innings in relief for J-M, yielding one hit plus an earned run besides walking one, and was followed to the hill by Samuel Murchison, who failed to retire any of the four batters he faced while issuing three walks and being charged with a pair of runs (one earned).

“Union Pines ran out of pitchers about the time we finally got in a groove and began putting the bat on the ball,” said Jordan-Matthews’ coach John Will Headen. “Their walks and mistakes helped us out and we were able to take advantage of timely hits to pull out a win.”

Will Fernandez, the fourth of five pitchers used by the Vikings, absorbed the loss after allowing two hits and three runs (one earned) while walking one in two-thirds of an inning on the mound.

Union Pines’ starter Tanner Freeland tossed four and two-third innings, surrendering two hits and four earned runs while walking three and whiffing five.

Reliever Ethan McKay failed to retire any of the three batters he faced, allowing one hit and a pair of walks while giving up a pair of earned runs.

Alex Mauldin followed McKay to the mound and gave up one hit plus an earned run while issuing two free passes and striking out one in one-third of an inning.

Jonathan Foster was the final Vikings’ hurler, fanning the one batter he faced.

“If you don’t throw strikes, you lose,” summed up Union Pines’ coach Eric Marion.

“We walked one batter in the first four innings, then walked or hit nine batters the rest of the way,” Marion said. “Tanner did a good job until he ran out of gas, but nobody on our staff picked us up on the mound after he left. I thought our offense did well as anytime you score nine runs you should win, and while our defense wasn’t bad, we made a couple of crucial errors that ended up costing us some runs.”

The Vikings seized a 2-0 advantage in the top of the third as Hudson Fette led off the frame with a base hit up the gap in right-center and moved to second on a passed ball.

Following a walk to McKay, Jack Lange sacrificed both runners up a base before Bryson Horney plated Fette with a sacrifice fly to right and Mauldin drove in McKay with a single to left.

Union Pines increased its lead to 6-0 in the visitors’ fourth as Freeland rapped a leadoff base hit to left prior to Chandler Taylor reaching on a throwing error that advanced courtesy runner Grant Booker to third.

After Taylor went to second on a wild pitch, Fette reached on a fielder’s choice as Booker was thrown out at the plate attempting to score.

Following McKay’s infield single that scored Taylor, Lange was nicked by a pitch to load the sacks, and after Fette tallied on a passed ball, Mauldin and Logan Rogers registered back-to-back base hits to drive in McKay and Lange.

The Jets would then send a dozen batters to the plate with two away in the bottom of the fifth and tally six runs to pull even.

The rally began when Cano was hit on the helmet by a pitch before advancing to second on an errant pickoff attempt.

After Seth Moore drew a free pass on four pitches, Carson Rickman delivered a single to left to drive in Cano prior to Luke Hinshaw coaxing a full-count walk to fill the bases.

Thomas Smith then walked on four pitches to force in Moore before Murchison followed with a double down the left field line to bring in Rickman and Hinshaw while sending Smith to third.

After Smith came home on a wild pitch as Murchison went to third, Huston Causey plated the latter with a single to center.

The Vikings battled back in the top of the sixth to forge ahead 9-6 as Lange scratched a one-out infield hit, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball.

Horney and Mauldin then received back-to-back walks and both advanced a base on a wild pitch prior to the former coming in to score as Rogers reached on a throwing error.

After Rogers stole second, Mauldin attempted to score on a passed ball and was thrown out at the plate, but Rogers took advantage of a mental lapse on J-M’s part to continue home and put the visitors up by three.

However, Jordan-Mathews would respond with four runs in its half of the frame to take its first lead of the evening.

Walks to Moore and Rickman along with Hinshaw’s bunt single loaded the bases with no outs before Smith drove in the lead runner with a base hit to left.

After Rickman came in to score when Murchison’s fly ball to left was dropped, Fuquay scored Hinshaw with a fielder’s choice as Smith went to third prior to dashing home with the deciding run on a wild pitch.

Union Pines would mount one last threat in the top of the seventh as Fette drew a walk with one away and moved to second on Lange’s two-out base hit to center.

But with the tying run on second, Cano proceeded to slip a full-count, called third strike past Horney to bring the game to a close and seal the Jets’ victory.


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