By Brandon Speck/Daily Journal
ELLISTOWN – With Tina the pet chicken looking on Friday, East Union won its opening game in the 2012 MHSAA Class 2A baseball playoffs 7-0 over visiting Riverside.
Dustin Pratt and Tray Davis homered and Trey Barkley struck out eight in six innings of work for the Urchins (20-8).
“We just did what we had to do to win,” East Union coach Chris Basil said. “We weren’t very impressive. I thought we hit a few balls hard, right at them. All in all they did a good job.”
Game 2, and 3 if necessary, is scheduled for today at 3 p.m. in Avon.
Monday, a chicken wandered onto the field. Players took Tina in and allowed her to watch from the dugout.
In the bottom of the second, she saw Davis single and advance on a sacrifice from Austin Basil. Tyler Hutcheson blooped a single into right field that Perry Ramsey bobbled and allowed to score Davis for a 1-0 lead. D.J. Arsmstrong’s sac fy scored Hutcheson for a 2-0 lead.
The Urchins made it 3-0 in the third on a solo shot from Pratt.
Barkley struck out two in the top of the fourth as he improved to 5-4.
“We’ve got a good team. They’ve got a good team also,” Barkley said. “They’re scrappy.”
In the fourth, Armstrong bunted in a run with two on. Barkely then hit a fly to right where Ramsey made a controversial leaping grab. Hutcheson scored from third but Armstrong was ruled out after umpires decided he didn’t tag up.
That made it 5-0 and ended the day for Riverside starter Dillon Russell (3-2).
Riverside (20-8) had a chance to score first. With the bases loaded and one out in the top of the second, Barkley got Cory Moxley to ground straight back to the mound. Barkley got the out at home and at first to end the threat.
“That’s probably one of the closest 7-0 ballgames I’ve been a part of,” Riverside coach Boo Ellis said. “We had chances and didn’t get a big hit. In the playoffs, that’s going to kill you.”
Davis’ solo home run came in the sixth before Barkley’s bases-loaded groundout plated Thomas Moore for a 7-0 lead.
Hutcheson closed for the Urchins with a perfect seventh.