LITTLE ROCK – There was quite a drastic difference in the Benton McClendon’s Appliances’ games against the Little Rock Vipers on Wednesday night at Gary Hogan Field in Little Rock. The McClendon’s split a doubleheader, falling 12-0 to the Vipers in Game 1, but rebounding and taking the second game 3-1 behind an excellent pitching performance from Wesley Ramsey.
After the McClendon’s (10-16) issued 10 walks to the Vipers in the first game, Ramsey didn’t walk a batter in the second game, giving up one run on four hits and striking out five. The Vipers scored their lone run in the final inning as Ramsey allowed just one runner, who reached via error, to third base in the previous six innings.
In Game 2, Benton got on the board in the second inning when leadoff batter Hunter Wray began a string of four consecutive singles, with Tyler Massey picking up the RBI, for the 1-0 lead. The McClendon’s would get their other two runs in the top of the fourth inning when Ramsey helped his own cause in leading the frame off with a single. Shawn Beesley sacrificed him to second base and Massey knocked Ramsey in for the 2-0 lead. Hunter McDade would reach on an error allowing Massey to take third base, and Massey would score on leadoff man Tyler Lewis’ fielder’s choice RBI for Benton’s final run. The Vipers would pick up their run when Ramsey hit a man with one out in the bottom of the seventh, and two consecutive singles followed for Little Rock’s only run.
Massey and Ramsey led the McClendon’s at the plate with each going 2 for 3 with a run, and Massey contributing two RBI. Beesley went 1 for 1 with a sacrifice and hit by pitch, and Lewis and Wray each went 1 for 3.
Game 1 was a different story for Benton. Four Benton pitchers combined to walk 10 Vipers with seven of those walks resulting in a run. Little Rock scored four runs in the first two innings, two of the runs via the walk, and blew up for eight runs in the fourth inning to put the game out of reach. All five Vipers who were walked in the fourth scored a run.
Benton also couldn’t get things going at the plate, tallying a total of two hits. Jack James and Wray each went 1 for 2 as the McClendon’s went 2 for 16 (.125) at the dish. Benton did have its chances though. The McClendon’s had runners at second and third in the second inning, but could not score them. Benton also had the bases loaded with one out in the third inning before Clay Holicer hit a rocket back at the pitcher, knocking him down, but he recovered to get a 1-2-3 double play to get out of the inning unscathed.
The McClendon’s will travel to Sherwood to take on the Sylvan Hills Bruins on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.