By Mark Robinson
Greenbrier East trickled in its runs here and there, and by the end of the game with Fayetteville Wednesday evening, coasted to a 9-1 win. The Pirates made it interesting for a few innings, but their runners were for the most part stranded on base, and their fielding couldn’t keep up with East’s barrage of hits.
In the first inning, Fayetteville’s Dalton Dempsey made it to first base, but was caught off base by a throw from East pitcher Tanner McCallister, and was trapped between first baseman Frank Ford and shortstop Daylon Colley for the out. The next two batters made it to first and second, then each advanced a base on a wild pitch, but two strikeouts ended the inning.
East, in the bottom of the inning, saw Colby Johnson get on base with a double, to be advanced to third by Jonathan Carr’s single. With two on, Daylon Colley hit a fly ball to center to score Johnson. Ford popped up to third base, and Blake Colley was thrown out at first by the second baseman. Score 1-0, East.
Fayetteville had three up, three down, in the second inning, with Dalton Woodrum being thrown out at first by the second baseman, C.J.Dooley popping up to shortstop Daylon Colley, and Braden Broach striking out.
East followed suit, with Charlie Bowyer thrown out by the third baseman, Joey Powell striking out, and Tom Willis hitting a hard shot to the first baseman, who made an amazing catch on the line for the out.
In the third, Fayetteville’s Alex Hewitt hit to second, to be thrown out. Dalton Dempsey hit to center for a single. Jordan Dempsey struck out, and Fenton flied out to center.
East, in the bottom of the third, saw McCallister fly out to right field, Johnson hit a hard grounder to first, to be tagged out, and Jonathan Carr sliding into third base to beat a throw from center, for a triple. Daylon Colley hit to second and was thrown out at first on a close play. Still 1-0.
Fourth inning begins. Fayetteville’s Farrell strikes out. Steve Price strikes out. Woodrum hits to second, and is thrown out at first. East pitcher Tanner McCallister has hit his stride. Two consecutive innings, three up and three down.
East bats in the fourth, with Frank Ford getting on base, beating the throw to first base. Blake Colley walked, and Shannon Bennett was his pinch runner. Bennett on first, Ford on second, no outs. Charlie Bowyer hit to the shortstop who put Colley out, but the throw to first was late, and Ford scored. 2-0. Man on first, one out. Joey Powell struck out. Tom Willis walked. Tanner McCallister walked. Colby Johnson reached first on an error by the first baseman, scoring Willis. Jonathan Carr was thrown out at first by the second baseman. Three outs. Score 4-0, East.
Fifth inning. Dooley walks. Broach hits for a single. Hewitt hit to second and was thrown out at first, as Dooley scored. Score, 4-1. Dalton Dempsey then struck out. In a strange play, some of the East players thought the strikeout was the third out, and began to walk off the field. The ball was laying on the ground in front of pitcher McCallister. Fayetteville’s Broach, on third, seizing the opportunity, sprinted for home base. Players in the dugout yelled. People in the bleachers yelled. McCallister picked the ball up off the ground, tossed it to Blake Colley at home, who stepped toward the runner, colliding with him before he reached home. Third out.
In the bottom of the fifth, Daylon Colley hits to center for a single, and steals second. Ford flies out to right, advancing Colley to third. Blake Colley was out on a throw from the pitcher to the shortstop at second, scoring Daylon Colley. Charlie Bowyer hits to second and is thrown out at first. Three out. Score 5-1.
Sixth inning. Jordan Dempsey reaches first on a hit to left center, but is thrown out trying to steal second, on a nice throw by East catcher Blake Colley to his brother Daylon. Will Fenton struck out. Troy Farrell reached first on a hit to left field. Price hit to second and was thrown out at first. Score 5-1.
Bottom of the sixth. Joey Powell walks. Willis thrown out at first by the pitcher. Tanner McCallister hits, bringing Powell home. 6-1. McCallister steals second. Colby Johnson hits to the shortstop, whose throw to first is missed by the first baseman. Johnson safe at first. McCallister scores. 7-1. Jonathan Carr is out on a throw from the shortstop to first, scoring Johnson. 8-1. Two outs. Daylon Colley hits to right center for a standup double. Frank Ford hits a single, scoring Daylon Colley. 9-1. Blake Colley is out on a throw from the third baseman to the catcher.
In the top of the seventh inning, Woodrum strikes out. Dooley reaches first on a hit to center-right. Broach is thrown out by the shortstop, then Dooley is out trying to steal second. That ended the inning and the game, with a piece by piece victory by the Spartan bats, and McCallister’s ability to keep the Fayetteville batters guessing.
The evening was chilly, and the crowd was small, but the result continues East on its path to the playoffs.