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Monday, Apr. 21, 2014

Fighting Squirrels hold on for 6-4 win over Chaffee

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

(Photo)
Charleston's Tim Fox delivers a pitch against Chaffee on Monday at Hillhouse Park in Charleston. Brent Shipman, Staff
CHARLESTON -- When given the chance to payback Chaffee for sweeping last week's doubleheader, the Charleston Fighting Squirrels didn't disappoint.

While hosting the Honey Badgers for one nine-inning contest on Monday the Squirrels were able to take advantage of an early four-run rally to hold on for a 6-4 win.

"Offensively we did just enough to win," Charleston head coach Michael Minner said. "Defensively I thought we played pretty well and the pitching was good. We threw strikes for the most part.

"We're at the point now where we have to be doing good things. This was a step in the right direction tonight."

After going down on three straight strikeouts in the first frame, Charleston responded with four runs in the second as they started the inning by loading the bases with one out.

The go-ahead run came in on a double steal before Ryan Mathis made it 2-0 with a line drive to right field. A walk to load the bases followed before a pair of passed balls put the Honey Badgers in an 4-0 hole.

Though three-unanswered Chaffee runs in the next four innings closed the Honey Badgers back to within one, Charleston never relented the lead.

After both teams plated a run in the sixth, Charleston brought home one final runner in the seventh that proved to be pivotal in stopping a ninth inning Chaffee rally.

Down to their final three outs and still trailing 6-4 the Honey Badgers took advantage of a lead off error in the ninth to put runners on first and second with one out.

After a strikeout left Chaffee down to their final out, Neil Johnson sent a blooper to shallow centerfield that looked to close the Honey Badgers to within a run.

As the lead runner was closing in on home, however, centerfielder Trey Watkins gunned down the potential game-tying runner trying to advance to third for the final out.

"Just a mishap there," Chaffee head coach Aaron Horrell said. "I wasn't bringing him (to third), but he made the decision and you have to live with it. Luckily it's a meaningless game in late June and hopefully we get it fixed by state."

Added Minner, "(Trey) makes the smart play. The ball drops down and their trying to get a guy to third base and we throw him out.

"Instead of like a lot times where we come up chucking to the plate, where we have no chance, we throw to third and we throw him out by 15-feet. That's good baseball on our part."

Outhitting Charleston 8-6, Chaffee was led by clean-up hitter Cody Payne's 3 for 4 performance. Daniel Dooley added two hits to the Honey Badgers' cause.

Mathis was the only Squirrel with more than a single. He finished the contest going 3 for 4 with a run batted in and run scored.

"We were selective and got some guys in scoring position," Minner said of his team. "We took advantage of a few of their walks. But once again we're not getting ourselves out right now.

"All night long we made them pitch to us and that's the way we have to be at the end of the year".

Chaf. 001 101 100 - 4 9 2

Char. 040 001 10x - 6 6 2

WP -- Tim Fox. LP -- Neil Johnson. S -- Zac Chasteen. Multiple hitters: (CF) Cody Payne 3-4, Daniel Dooley 2-4; (CH) Ryan Mathis 3-4.