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Bulldogs take two at Oscar Smith

CHESAPEAKE – King’s Fork’s baseball and softball squads were victorious Friday evening in Southeastern District games at Oscar Smith. Both Bulldog teams improved to 2-4 marks on their seasons.

KF won the baseball game 12-1. It was a tight, low-scoring game most of the way until the Bulldogs put three runs on the board in the fifth inning. Nick Bowman pitched 6.2 shutout innings for the Bulldogs.

The softball contest was low-scoring the whole way, but the Lady Bulldogs got a five-hit complete game by Miranda Whitley for a 3-0 win.

On Oscar Smith’s baseball diamond, it was one of those games where everything seemed to go right for the Bulldogs, and coming in with a 1-4 record, the Bulldogs were more than happy to jump on every chance.

Three of KF’s first five runs came as a direct result of runners reaching base on dropped third strikes.

KF head coach J.B. Varney chose to replace starting pitcher Jonathan Wilson four Tiger hitters into the bottom of the first inning. The move worked better than Varney himself predicted. Bowman held Oscar Smith to a run in the inning, then blanked the Tigers the rest of the way, allowing two hits and one walk.

“Nick just did a fantastic, fantastic job. He got stronger as the game went on,” Varney said.

It was the longest pitching outing of Bowman’s KF career. “We usually rely on him for two, three, maybe four innings. We don’t use him more than that, but tonight, he just kept on rolling,” Varney said.

King’s Fork offense wound up making the last couple innings simple.

Leadoff hitter Noah Johnson started KF’s fifth inning with a single into short center. Johnson immediately stole second and third. Nick Ramos brought Johnson in with sacrifice fly to deep left field, making it 3-1 KF.

Tyler Carpenter singled, then stole second and third, to set up another scoring chance. The next two KF hitters struck out, but on what should’ve been the third out of the inning, Aaron Aranda reached first on a passed ball and Carpenter raced down the line to score. An Oscar Smith error, on George Riddick’s grounder to short, allowed Aranda to score.

The Bulldogs plated another run in the six and put the game totally out of reach with six runs in the seventh.

In KF’s seventh, a two-RBI double into left-center field by Travis Cherry turned into, in effect, a grand slam, as two Tiger errors on the play let Brian Morrison and Cherry score. The Tigers let the game get out of hand with five errors in the seventh inning.

Johnson and Carpenter finished with four stolen bases each. Johnson led KF with three runs. Cherry was 2-for-3 with three RBI.

It took the Lady Bulldogs until the fourth inning to break through, but with Whitley’s pitching, KF didn’t need much offense.

Niki Cuevas opened KF’s fourth with a single to center. Cuevas was retired at second on a fielder’s choice as Haley Johnson took first. Oscar Smith got a groundout and had Johnson on second with two down.

Monica Logwood came through with the key hit, driving a shot into deep left-center field for an RBI double.

Logwood did it again two innings later, again with two outs, her double brought Cuevas in to score.

In KF’s seventh, Alaysha Mikell’s one-out triple, a long fly that landed at the base of the center field fence, set the table. Stephanie Livingston followed with a sacrifice groundout to make it 3-0 KF.