Stone baseball rallies to take down White X

Apr. 23—With the playoffs just about a week away, Trent Stokes really likes what he sees from his baseball team. The Stone Memorial High School coach has seen his team really pick up its level of play on both sides of the ball.

The Panthers have been banging the ball around the field, and have gotten some stellar performances on the pitcher's mound. Stone's latest winning performance came earlier this week when the Panthers rallied to beat White County, 5-1.

"We're finding out more and more about who we are," Stokes said after the game. "The kids are doing a good job of coming around. These guys are who they are, and who we as a coaching staff want them to be. We're playing well."

And the Panthers certainly put together a good game against White County. The Warriors jumped on top early, stringing a couple of hits together in the top of the first inning off Stone starter Nick Osmun to make it 1-0.

But that didn't seem to upset SMHS as Stone came back with two tallies in the bottom of the second to take a 2-1 lead. With one out, Gage Eldridge singled and moved to second on a single by Konner Melton. Kyle Hinch struck out, but Cade Wilson then doubled to bring in Eldridge and Melton.

"We didn't get caught up in the emotions," Stokes said. "White County came out, they're a scrappy team and they're really well-coached. They scratched a run across early, but Nick didn't get rattled. He shut them down the rest of the game and gave us a chance to get up there with the sticks and scratch some runs across of our own."

The Panthers tacked on another run in the bottom of the third when Bryce Elmore scored Osmun on a ground ball. The score remained 3-1 until the bottom of the fifth when Stone Memorial scored two more.

Talyn Hurd reached on a single and Osmun reached on an error, putting runners on second and third. Elmore then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Hurd, and Kamryn Melton later brought in Osmun with a fly ball to center to make it 5-1.

"White County is going to keep coming at you," Stokes said. "They had some chances late in the game, but Nick did a great job of pitching out of them. It was a very clean game for us and that's what you want. You want to throw strikes and limit errors."

Osmun was terrific on the mound. He went 6.2 innings, allowing one run on four hits. He walked five and struck out 15. Wilson came on in relief to finish the game.

"Nick just has so much stamina. He works harder than anyone I have ever seen," Stokes said. "He gets stronger as the game goes on. His pitch count was up until about the fourth inning, then he was really dialed in."

Stone had nine hits on the night. Osmun led the way with a 3-for-3 night, while Titus Bisbee had two. Hurd, Eldridge, Konner Melton and Wilson had one hit each.

"We preach grit, we preach toughness, we preach good body language, and playing the game the right way," Stokes said. " The guys are falling in to seeing that recipe kind of takes care of itself on the scoreboard."