The Orange Leader
WEST ORANGE —
Making a statement already by posting a 11-1 non-district mark, the West Orange-Stark Mustangs are making some more “hay” to start the District 21-3A season as they improved to 2-0 with a come-from-behind 5-4 victory over the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks at Ronnie Anderson Field Friday night.
The Mustangs (13-2) dug themselves a 4-1 hole after three innings against H-J (5-9, 0-1) but got out of it nicely with a two-run fourth frame and a two-run dramatic sixth inning.
Grant Anderson got the win on the Mustang hill as he worked all seven innings. He scattered five hits while striking out eight and walking three and he also hit a solo home run in the fourth inning.
Trailing 4-3 entering the bottom of the sixth and with one out, Mustang Eric Guillory reached after his deep flyball to leftfield was dropped.
With two outs, Jack Dallas reached on an error at shortstop and Guillory scooted to third.
Second baseman Tanner Hogan tied things up when he stroked a RBI single to center.
H-J reliever Collin Bledsoe then hit Grant LaPoint with a pitch to load the bases.
Mustang shortstop Peyton Robertson then showed a tremendous amount of patience as he drew a walk on a 3-2 count with the bases loaded as courtesy runner Chase Rutledge came across to score the game’s winning run.
WO-S trimmed it to 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth with two runs off H-J starter Cody Cash.
Grant Anderson got it going when he took a Cash offering and planted it over the leftfield fence for a solo dinger.
With one out, Cameron Williams belted a deep double to center and Guillory followed with a infield single. Jacob Hryhorchuk slapped a RBI single to right.
The Mustangs grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
Leadoff hitter Grant LaPoint, who had two hits, led off with a single to right and went to second off a nice Robertson sacrifice bunt. Grant Anderson then singled to center and Aidan Anderson was able to plate LaPoint with a RBI groundout to second.
H-J scored two runs in the top of the second.
Logan Thompson singled to let. Alex Robertson was hit by a pitch and Bledsoe reached on an error to load the bases.
Kade Coleman smacked a single to left to score Thompson and Robertson would score on a Cash sacrifice fly to leftfield.
The Hawks scratched in two more runs in the top of the third.
Hunter Cooley drew a walk. Grayson Padgett singled to center and Thompson reached on an error to load the bases.
Robertson promptly came up with a two-run single between third base and short to make it 4-1.
The Mustangs finished with eight hits off the three H-J hurlers. The three H-J pitchers teamed up for nine strikeouts and two walks.
The Mustangs, who defeated Hamshire-Fannett 3-0 in a dramatic eight-inning affair last Tuesday, will have a bye date Tuesday before playing host to Orange County rival Orangefield next Friday.
Orangefield is 0-2 in 21-3A play after absorbing a 16-7 loss to Hamshire-Fannett Thursday.