15-4 win over Heat keeps Ospreys perfect in Legion baseball

ksalter@islandpacket.comJune 6, 2014 

A brief rain delay did nothing to cool off the bats of the Beaufort Ospreys.

If anything, it heated them up. As a result, it was the host Lowcountry Heat that saw their hopes for a first American Legion League 1 win washed away.

The Ospreys claimed their second win over the Heat, rolling to a 15-4, seven-inning win at the Richard Gray Sports Complex in Hardeeville.

"We just came out ready to play," Beaufort coach Mike Smith said. "Some nights it just goes that way, where you come out and you make contact and the ball goes your way."

After the first Ospreys batter of the game flew out to right field, they and the Heat were forced to leave the field for a brief rain delay. From there, the Ospreys, representing Post 9/207, could do no wrong at the plate. Their next four batters reached, leading to two early runs.

Beaufort added four more in the second inning, taking advantage of three hits and a pair of walks.

Each new pitcher Heat assistant coach Mitchell Johnson brought in -- 5 in all -- struggled to keep the Ospreys at bay. Especially tough was star first baseman Mattison Pike. Pike walked in the first inning, doubled in a pair of runs in the second and tripled and scored in the fourth. His most impressive accomplishment was a towering two-run home run to left field in the fifth to extend the Ospreys' lead to 13-2.

"Just seeing the ball well," Pike said. "I like Legion just because it's more relaxed. Just a lot more fun almost."

Pike even contributed an inning of relief on the mound, escaping a two-on, none-out jam in the bottom of the sixth without allowing a run.

For Johnson and the struggling Heat, representing Post 185, it was a night to forget. Their bold approach on the base paths could do little to overcome the daunting early deficit, and the offense that looked so prolific on Tuesday in a close loss to Goose Creek again found itself stifled by Beaufort's arms. Without the services of top pitchers Joe Ludewig and Caleb Workman, the Heat hurlers had trouble missing bats and putting batters away.

"We had trouble finding the zone," Johnson said. "When you can't throw strikes and you fall behind, it's a lot easier to hit. Their players took advantage of that."

For the Ospreys, the contest continued a good run of form that has seen them jump to 3-0 in League 1 play. In all three games, Smith's team has proven it can hit, a trend Smith said he hopes will continue as his players get accustomed to Goose Creek's and Lowcountry's pitching staffs. The Ospreys were able to score multiple runs in five of seven innings.

"We just had a lot of guys who put the ball in play, and good things will happen if you do that," Smith said.

BO -- 242 230 2xx -- 15 13 5

LH -- 002 101 xxx -- 4 5 5

WP: Alex Tokar -- 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 K, 2 HBP

LP: Spenser Stewart -- 1.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB

Top Hitters:

Beaufort: Mattison Pike: 3-3, HR, 3B ,2B, BB, HBP, 4 RBI, 2 R; David Tilton: 2-4, 2B, 1B, BB, 2 RBI, 2 R

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