Rams fall to Heard County in home opener
Published 9:59 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2023
The Valley varsity baseball team dropped their first home game of the season to Heard County 10-5 on Wednesday.
Valley head coach Mike Meadows knows that the defense was struggling.
“We just didn’t play good defense,” Meadows said.
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“We improved from Saturday to today. The pitching was good. We just didnt’ play defense.”
The Rams started out strong with star pitcher Jackson Sanders taking the mound at the top of the first inning.
Sanders had a strikeout and didn’t allow a hit in the first.
The Rams scored first in the bottom of the first when a Trevor Rudd single set up an Ashton Carter sacrifice fly out,which saw Cullen Kennedy score the opening run.
It was another solid inning for the Valley defense as Sanders had two strikeouts and allowed one hit, but the Rams kept the lead heading into the bottom of the second.
The Rams continued their solid offense when Mason Yarborough singled to Carter Green home and extend the Valley lead to 2-0 heading into the third inning.
Errors plagued the Rams in the third inning as Heard County took advantage and gave the Braves a 3-2 lead.
Sanders hit his pitch limit at 67 and finished with five strikeouts, three hits and no earned runs in his season debut.
Valley’s offense responded when a Rudd double set up an Ashton Carter single to bring Rush Nelson home and tie the game heading into the fourth inning and tie the game up at three.
CJ Chambley subbed in for Sanders and had a solid showing in the top of the fourth as he had one strikeout with no hits or walks.
Valley’s offense wasn’t flashy, but it got the job done at the bottom of the fourth when Chambley hit a sacrifice grounder leading to a Caleb Poe run, which gave Valley the lead.
Valley’s defense struggled in the top of the fifth as a wild pitch from Chambley led to a score for the Braves.
Hansford singled to bring Cammon home and give Heard County a 5-4 lead heading into the bottom of the inning.
The Rams were able to make contact with the ball in the bottom of the inning, but Valley had two pop outs to end the inning after setting up Seth Hammock in scoring position.
Things fell apart for the Rams in the top of the sixth when a key error turned a Braves bunt into two runs for Heard County.
The Braves immediately hit a two run double to extend the lead to 9-4.
Valley’s offense couldn’t keep up in the final two innings, and the Rams dropped their third straight.