Rams rally past Raiders

Mar. 21—RACELAND — East Carter was seeing double in its second game of the season.

The Raiders produced six doubles against Raceland pitching. But a Rams rally consisted of two hit batsmen, two wild pitches that scored runs and two bases-loaded walks to help double up East Carter.

Raceland scored seven runs in the final two innings to pull away for a 7-3 win on the new home turf on Thursday night.

"They came alive there toward the end," Raceland coach Marty Mills said. "We hadn't scored a run (until then) and then it was 3-2. It's so early right now that you are trying to figure out the who, what, where, when and why."

After two players were hit in the fifth inning, Zane Bailey induced a walk to plate a run and an errant offering went to the backstop to bring in another. The two tallies closed the Raceland deficit to one.

Three straight walks got the Rams rolling in the sixth stanza. Two errors by the relief pitcher, one from a bunt by Brayden Webb and another squeeze play attempt from Bailey, posted two Raceland runs. Kadin Shore took advantage of a drawn-in infield to scoot a grounder past a diving first baseman for an RBI single. It gave the Rams their first lead.

Mills wants his entire lineup ready to bunt runners over if the moment arises.

"It's what the situation calls for," Mills said. "It's just what you do. We have kids that are going to barrel balls. Bunts and barrels. It's just what we go by. Each team is pretty much the same. We have some really nice hitters who understand their zone and are becoming more disciplined at the plate. As they become more disciplined, we have a chance to get a lot better."

East Carter (1-1) starter Colton McGuire produced a strong outing with four solid innings. The cold weather and early-season strategy make coaches monitor each hurler's performance.

"Early in the season, we are kind of doing bullpen games," East Carter coach Jeremiah Shearer said. "We were getting bullpen work here. It was Colton's first time throwing in a varsity game. I was proud of how he did. He got into the high 70s and we thought it was time to pull the plug with the cold weather. It's not worth risking it. We are still looking for arms and guys that can come in and throw strikes."

Bryer Parsons came on in relief for Raceland (6-0). He struck out four batters over two innings and picked up the victory.

"It's only the second start for Parker (Fannin)," Mills said. "Parsons had all three pitches going. It was good to see him come in and really stabilize everything for us. It's huge going forward."

Andrew Tomolonis recorded the game's first two-bagger for the Raiders and it drove in Tate Scott after he led off the game with a single.

Fannin pitched his way out of a jam with two runners in scoring position. McGuire found himself in the same predicament in the bottom of the frame but came through it unscathed.

Colin Pennington sent the ball to the outfield wall for doubles in his first two at-bats. The second hit sent Evan Goodman home after his leadoff double in the fourth frame.

Blake Hall and Tomolonis both ended up at second after opening the fifth with doubles to stake East Carter to a 3-0 lead.

Tomolonis ended his day 2 for 4 at the plate. Pennington was 2 for 3.

"I think we are going to score a lot of runs this year," Shearer said. "We talked about that after the game. We had to work for our runs. We hit doubles in the gap and hit balls hard. We had walks and hit batters to give them their runs. It's tough to lose a game like that when you have to work for your runs but you don't make them work for their runs. I like where we are at offensively. I think we will be a good offensive team."

Eli Lynd and Webb scored twice for the Rams.

Raceland outscored its first five opponents 61-4 but found a way to win against a formidable Raiders team. After opening with six games on the new turf, the Rams have found more time to spend on baseball and less on maintenance.

"I'm not so sure the team likes practicing every day," Mills said with a smile. "We have to schedule our off days instead of the weather dictating your off days. It is super. It is a program-changer for us. Instead of spending an hour working on it, our coaches spend that hour working with our kids."

E. CARTER 100 110 0 — 3 9 2

RACELAND 000 025 X — 7 5 0

McGuire, Sexton (5), Ty Scott (5), Yoak (6) and Barker; Fannin, Parsons (5), Webb (7) and Lynd. W—Parsons. L—Ty Scott. 2B—Tomolonis 2 (EC), Hall (EC), Goodman (EC), Pennington 2 (EC).

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