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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Charleston wins slugfest

Friday, April 6, 2007

Charleston's Colin Gilooly safely slides into third base as Kelly's Bryce Faulkner awaits the throw.
CHARLESTON - The Charleston Bluejays baseball team got a single tally in the bottom of the seventh inning at Hillhouse Park on Thursday to defeat the visiting Kelly Hawks, 15-14.

Although the game was not an artistic masterpiece with a combined 15 errors, it did have drama and a walkout hit to win the game for Charleston.

After Kelly had scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game at 14, the Bluejays had one last chance to pull out the victory in the bottom half of the inning.

Kelly reliever Ryan Essner began the bottom of the seventh by getting Colin Gilooly to flyout. Matt Medlock singled and stole second base to get in scoring position for Charleston. On the day, Medlock had four stolen bases.

With Medlock on second base, Essner got Bluejay pinch hitter Garrison Eastman to fly out for the second out of the seventh. Kelly head coach Cory Johnson elected to intentional walk Charleston lead off man Paul Johnson.

Brink Naile was up next for the Bluejays and with two strikes, Naile made contact and tapped the ball weakly toward third base. Hawk third baseman Bryce Faulkner had struggled all day long at third and the Naile chopper was no exception. Faulkner booted the ball and Charleston had the bases loaded with Zach Rowland up next.

Essner got Rowland on his heels with two quick strikes. However, Rowland fought off an inside fast ball and hit the ball to the opposite field in right field. The ball got down several feet fair and the Bluejays picked up the win after Medlock crossed the plate.

"It was a real sloppy game," said Charleston head coach Michael Minner. "Our kids battled all game and put the ball in play. High school kids will make some mistakes. We made them field the ball and they had some costly errors.

But give our kids credit, they put the ball in play and made them make the play."

The loss for the Hawks will be hard to swallow. Kelly led 8-3 in the third inning and battled to tie the game in the top of the seventh before giving up a run in the bottom half of the inning. The downfall of the Hawks can be traced to their inability to have control on the hill and poor fielding.

"We are a young team and we have to learn to finish teams off when we have a lead like we did today," said Johnson. "They did put the ball in play and we simply did not make the plays."

Kelly pitchers combined to walk 10 Bluejay batters in the contest. The fourth inning was indicative for the Hawks. Charleston scored eight runs in the fourth on only two hits. Hawks pitchers walked three batters and hit another. The Bluejays had the bases loaded when Kelly walked in three consecutive runners.

In the field, Kelly committed an unseemly nine errors. The Hawks committed two errors in three separate innings. In the infamous fourth inning, the Hawks committed two consecutive errors with two outs in the inning.

"We basically gave them the game," said Johnson. "We didn't make plays and we lost the game. The kids have got to learn that if we don't make plays, we won't win games. I don't know if they had an earned run tonight."

Charleston did put the pressure on Kelly in the game with nine total stolen bases.

Johnson led the offensive charge for the Bluejays by going 3-for-4 with a triple, double, two runs driven in and stole a base.

"We came into the game wanting to be very aggressive on the bases," said Minner. "We have a group of extremely quick kids and we need to take advantage of that fact. I think we put the pressure on Kelly early with our aggression on the bases."

Kelly did pound out 17 hits led by Dallas Tew and Dustin LeGrand who had three hits apiece for the Hawks. Tew also had two RBIs, as did Faulkner.

Medlock got the win on the mound for the Bluejays relieving starter Brink Naile who went 6 1/3 innings. Naile struck out seven and did not allow a walk. Essner took the loss for the Hawks.

"Our kids were great tonight," said Minner. "We didn't quit when we were down early. All year long, the kids have been fighting to stay in games and we finally got over the hump. It is exciting for the kids to get a win over a very good club."

Kelly (2-4) will continue a game with St. Vincent on Tuesday at home that was postponed. The game will continue with the Hawks leading 8-2.

Charleston (2-5) travels to Mounds, Ill. on Monday and will play Egyptian High School at 4 p.m.

Charleston 15, Kelly 14


WP - Matt Medlock. LP - Ryan Essner. 3B - Paul Johnson (C)

2B - Kelly: Zach Howard, Josh DeBrock, Dallas Tew. Charleston: Johnson. Multiple hitters - Kelly: Tew 3-5, Dustin LeGrand 3-5, DeBrock 2-4, Levi Felter 2-5, Howard 2-5, Faulkner 2-5. Charleston: Johnson 3-4, Tommy Starr 2-3, Zach Rowland 2-5. Records - Kelly (2-4), Charleston (2-5)