Young Lions come out on top against Nettleton

AMORY – The Hamilton Lions return no experienced pitchers, while the Nettleton Tigers lost just one starter from last year, but youth won out over experience in a 5-3 Hamilton win on Friday.
“We played a little better today than we did last weekend. We threw strikes and played better defense, but we’re still not hitting like we should be,” Hamilton coach Lewis Earnest said. “They’re still young and inexperienced, and that’s why we play these early games, to get better. I think they will, but we’ll just have to see.”

Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal Hamilton's Cole Richardson tries to slide in at second under the tag of Nettleton's John Austin Taylor on Thursday at the Amory Tournament.

Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal
Hamilton’s Cole Richardson tries to slide in at second under the tag of Nettleton’s John Austin Taylor on Thursday at the Amory Tournament.

Nettleton struck first in the top of the third with a Tanner Crawley RBI single to score Jacob Green.
Hamilton answered with three in the bottom half of the inning when Alan Baty singled to lead off the inning and came home when Cole Richardson reached on an error. Richardson scored later in the inning on another Nettleton error.
The Lions plated another run in the fourth on a sacrifice bunt from Nick Owens and another two runs in the fifth on an RBI double from McKellar Conwill.
Nettleton answered with another two runs in the top of the seventh on RBI singles from Chaney and D.J. Parker.
Richardson, Baty, Austin Lewis and Caleb Garvin each went 2 for 4, while John Wesley Imel earned the win, allowing five hits and striking out ten.
Earnest said he was overall pleased with his pitching in the win.
“We had no returning experience, but John Wesley, who threw tonight, has been our most consistent strike thrower so far,” Earnest said. “I have about eight more guys that are working really hard to get better on the mound. We’re just inexperienced all the way around.”
For Nettleton, Crawley was 2 for 4 with a pair of RBIs.
First-year Nettleton coach Will Hawkins said his team still needed to heat up at the plate.
“Overall, the defense played well, and we pitched well for the most part. We have to hit the ball better,” Hawkins said. “We have to hit early in the count and quit falling behind in every count. That was the main thing today that their pitcher did a nice job throwing off-speed for a strike, and we fell in a hole.”