By Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal
HATLEY – Smithville pitcher Tyler Hood kept his defense busy in his 5-0 shutout of county rival Hatley on Saturday afternoon.
Hood (3-0) allowed just two Hatley hits and a pair of walks but recorded no strikeouts in the win.
“Our pitching and defense were both excellent today,” Smithville coach Steve Kerr said. “They’re a very good team, very well-coached, and it’s been a long time since Smithville beat Hatley. It’s a big deal to our kids, and we’re happy to get the win.”
The two teams stayed scoreless until the fifth with Hatley starter Hunter Schrock (4-2) picking off a baserunner in each of the first two innings, and the Tigers (13-5) stranding a pair of runners in the second and fourth innings.
In the fourth, Schrock led off with a walk, followed by base hits from Jonathan Waycaster and Tyler Bowling for the only Hatley hits of the game, but was tagged out at the plate on a squeeze play.
“Smithville came ready to play today, and they beat us in all phases of the game,” Hatley coach John Harris said. “Their pitcher did a great job on the mound and shut us down.”
Hood at the plate
Smithville (12-7) broke up the scoreless tie in the top of the fifth with a two-run single from Hood to plate Cole Williams and J.T. Pitts and an RBI single from Drew Lann.
The Seminoles padded their lead with two more in the sixth. Cole Williams hit a one-out double, followed by Austin Craig being hit by a pitch. Both came home when J.T. Pitts reached on an error in the Hatley outfield.
“We started off making some baserunning errors, and that had a lot to do with their pitcher, Schrock, because he has a very good move,” Kerr said. “Offensively, we got some bunts down, got some people walked and had some hits here and there. It’s a big win with some tough division games coming up.”