By Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal
HATLEY – Each of the first two games of the MHSAA Class 2A baseball quarterfinals between East Union and Hatley has featured a dominating pitching performance.
After a shutout from Hatley’s Russ Johnson in the first game, it was East Union’s Cody Bo Dillard who shut down the Tigers and got plenty of run support in Saturday’s 13-0 victory.
The deciding Game 3 will be Monday at East Union.
“After last night, we knew we had to do something. Our kids just came ready to play today,” East Union coach Chris Basil said. “After seven days’ layoff, I thought Cody did a tremendous job.”
East Union (18-13) took a quick 3-0 lead in the first on an RBI single from Tray Davis and two-run base hit from Tyler Hutcheson.
They piled on another seven runs in the second, five on two outs. Trey Barkley hit a two-run home run before Josh Carlisle retired the next two on a fly ball and a strikeout. A solo homer from Davis and three straight East Union singles, including an RBI one from Austin Basil, kept the inning going, and Alex Boland added a two-run triple. Jacob Elder’s RBI single gave them a 10-0 lead.
Garrett Gray’s one-out double appeared to get things started for Hatley (21-9) in the bottom of the inning, and Tyler Bowling followed him with a walk before Dillard (5-3) retired the next two.
Gray’s double was the lone hit allowed by Dillard as he struck out a pair and issued a lone walk in four innings.
The Urchins put on three more two-out runs in the fourth. Barkley, who went 3 for 4 with four RBIs, hit a two-run double down the right field line, and Dillard added an RBI single.
“When you get behind and leave the ball up to a good team like East Union, they make you pay,” Hatley coach John Harris said. “We’ll have to bring everything we’ve got because we know they’re going to be ready on Monday.”