GREENVILLE – The Greenville ACME baseball team took a 5-0 lead after three innings but had to battle back from two down going into the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out an 8-7 win against the Troy Bombers Junior Legion team.
“Our biggest thing for them is to make plays on defense and keeping it close,” Greenville ACME baseball coach Tray Wolter said. “They came up big when they needed to.”
The Bombers opened with a single to center followed with two wild pitches advancing the runner to third with no outs before the visitors went down without scoring with the last out coming on a Chris Force strikeout.
Greenville ACME went three-up and three-down in the bottom of the first, keeping the game scoreless.
Force opened the top of the second inning for Greenville throwing a strikeout looking followed with back-to-back ground outs to Tyler Netzley at short and Tylor Bowman at third.
Tanner Ross led off the bottom of the second for Greenville with an infield single. A walk to Michael Coby and a long single off the wall in left from the bat of Force had bases loaded and no outs.
Nathaniel Ridgeway picked up the game’s first RBI with a hit batsman, giving the locals a 1-0 lead.
A one-out Austin Weist single to left plated the second run of the inning. Greenville made it 3-0 with a two-out passed ball scoring Force from third.
A popup to Netzley at short and a Force strikeout had Troy facing two outs with no runners aboard.
A walk and a steal attempt by the visitors had Greenville catcher Reece Hunt throwing a strike to second for the third out of the inning, keeping the shutout in place.
Ross ripped a one-out single to right followed with a single to left off the bat of Coby, sending Ross to third and Coby taking second on the throw.
Force drove a two-RBI double just inside the left field line, giving Greenville ACME a 5-0 lead heading to the top of the fourth.
Troy picked up four runs in the top of the fourth, taking advantage of an opening double, four straight walks and a single to trail 5-4.
“We have been struggling a little bit in general with walking a lot of people,” Wolter said. “I was trying to keep him (Force) in there, trying to let him go as far as he could.”
Greenville got a Weist double to open the bottom of the fifth only to be stranded with the next three batters going down in order.
The first two batters in the top of the fifth went down in order for the Bombers.
An error and four consecutive walks gave Troy a 6-5 advantage, bringing a pitching change with Tanner Ross taking over on the mound for Greenville.
A second error of the inning cost ACME a run with Troy going up 7-5 before a popup stopped the visitors’ run.
“We’re still working on our defense,” Wolter said. “We’re making a few of the small plays. We’re missing them sometimes, but they are getting better each game. That’s just something where they have to keep playing and it will all come together.”
Greenville’s lone runner in the bottom of the fifth was a Force single to left while Troy was limited to a double in the top of the sixth.
A two-out Bowman single was all Greenville could account for in the bottom of the sixth inning of play.
Ross set the Bombers down in order in the top of the seventh inning with Greenville facing a two-run deficit coming to the plate in its last at bat.
Ross opened with a single to center followed with a single to right off the bat of Coby.
A Force single to left loaded the bases with no outs followed with a strikeout, bringing pinch hitter Cody Preston to the plate.
Greenville made it 7-6 with a passed ball before Preston was walked to first.
A Troy wild pitch tied the game at 7-7 followed with Weist legging out an infield single to score the winning run, giving Greenville ACME a come-from-behind 8-7 win.
“Chris Force did really well pitching and hitting,” Wolter said. “Reece (Hunt) hit the ball. Michael Coby and Tanner Ross had quite a few hits today. Cody Preston come in and pinch hit and had a very good a-bat. Weist knocked in the winning run. All-in-all they all helped with the game.”