BENTON – It didn’t start well for Benton Sport Shop, but the team cleaned up their play and ended up with their first win of the season in an 11-3 decision over Malvern National Bank on Saturday at Bernard Holland Park.
Benton starter Jay Davies walked the first four batters of the game, the last one resulting in the first run of the game, but settled down and ended up giving a very solid performance. Davies would get out of the inning when Ethan Hendrix forced a man out at home and Davies would strike the next two batters out to get out of the inning.
“Davies pitched really well and had to overcome some early control problems,” Sport Shop Assistant Coach Steven Tew said.
Malvern would pick up two more runs in the second inning for the 3-0 lead, but Davies’ strikeout to end the top of the second would start a string of six consecutive strikeouts. Davies would finish giving up three runs on four hits in 5.1 innings, walking five and striking out 10.
Sport Shop would get all three of those runs back and more in the bottom of the third. Down 3-0, last-place batter Austin Sheridan singled, Peyton Like sacrifice bunted him to second base, and Alex Wilcox scored Sheridan with a double. Jeffrey Storment would trade places with Wilcox for an RBI and 3-2 Benton deficit. Benton would add three more to take a two-run lead at 5-3.
Sport Shop would add two in the fourth to take a 7-3 lead and blow the game open in the sixth. Storment walked to start the bottom of the sixth and he would score on Joe Reynolds’ triple. After Hendrix was hit by a pitch, Nick Murray knocked Reynolds in with a single. Davies’ double would score two more for the final eight-run win.
“A big difference between today’s games and others was our confidence level, timely hits and our aggressive level of play,” Tew said. “Every aspect of the game today we were aggressive – on the base paths, up to bat, on the mound and in the field. It was a very nice win and I hope we can build off it.”
Storment went 3 for 3 with a double, two runs and an RBI, Davies went 2 for 3 with 2 RBI, Reynolds went 1 for 1 with a triple and RBI, Sheridan went 1 for 1 with a run and Wilcox went 1 for 2 with a double, two runs and a RBI.