No stranger to tight ball games, the Shippensburg Greyhounds broke out the bats for a much needed laugher against the visiting Greencastle Blue Devils Tuesday, 12-4.
Senior shortstop Jake Frey finished a home run shy of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs and a pair of runs scored. Junior outfielder Chandler Durf notched 3 hits, 3 runs, and 3 stolen bases. Senior third baseman Logan Martin walked twice, singled and scored a run.
“It took just one guy to get us started really and we all just rode that momentum,” Martin said after the game.
The Greyhounds (3-4, 3-1 Colonial) answered a 3-run home run off the bat of Greencastle (1-4, 1-3 Colonial) slugger Ethan Miller with a 5-spot in the bottom of the first. Frey set the tone with a leadoff triple to the gap in right-centerfield. He later scored on an error, and Christian Melendez, Logan Martin, and Chandler Durf added RBI singles.
The Greyhound offense kept their foot on the accelerator, even after taking the lead.
Catcher Nic Weltz worked a bases loaded walk to drive in Noah Jumper, and Max Kalb brought home Frey with a sac bunt during the Hounds' 2-run second. Durf then singled an scored an inning later to give the home team an 8-3 margin.
Greencastle manufactured a run in the fifth to close the gap before singles from Durf and Frey extended the Ship lead in the fifth. Frey then finished off a monster day at the plate with a two-run single in the home half of the sixth.
The Greyhounds have experienced a number of blown leads and tough one-run losses to begin the season. Because of this, Shippensburg head coach Brian Etter was thrilled to see the Hounds continue to tack on runs and put the game out of reach.
“Three of our four losses came in the seventh or eighth inning. That is what we've been talking about — you gotta keep your foot on their throat and you’ve got to put people away. As soon as you give them hope that is how they get back into the ball game,” Coach Etter said.
Martin says the team has learned from their mistakes during those close losses and are better now because of it.
“Knowing that a couple plays here and there we win those games pushes us to do better and work on the things that we make mistakes on,” Martin said. “Today that paid off, we hit the ball a little better than we have before.”
Greyhound starter Ethan Stouffer settled in after allowing the first inning homer. He scattered 5 hits and recorded 8 strikeouts over 5.2 innings to pick up the win.
Right hander Luke Davis (1.1 IP, 0 R) came on to retire one batter in the sixth and pitched around two baserunners in a scoreless seventh.
The Greyhounds return home Friday for a tough test against the unbeaten East Pennsboro Panthers (5-0), game time is scheduled for 4:15 p.m.