Blue Devils crush Chicks
The West Memphis Blue Devils escaped a jam late and cruised past the Blytheville Chicks by ten runs
WM School District Faced with a precarious task on Wednesday with the game still in the balance, West Memphis senior Morgan Williams didn't scare.
When the left-handed throwing Williams emerged from the bullpen to the mound to relieve starter Nick Allsbrook he was staring at a basesloaded, one-out situation in the fourth inning and the Blue Devils leading 8-3.
One bad offering could have pulled Blytheville back in it.
Instead, Williams doused the fire by getting the first batter to force a runner at home plate and then getting another ground ball for the final out with zero damage done.
And Blytheville would get nothing the rest of the day as the Blue Devils then put away the Chicks for a 13-3 five-inning run-rule victory at Tilden Rodgers Complex.
'I called on Morgan because he's got the bulldog mentality for that type of situation,' said West Memphis head coach Gary Cordell. 'At the first of the year Morgan was a little timid. When somebody would make an error behind him he'd shrug his shoulders. Now he's learned to shake it off. He's been throwing well for us.' The Blue Devils (7-3) feasted off eight Blytheville errors and they rallied from an early 2-0 deficit.
After the Chicks put up a two-spot in the second inning, the Blue Devils answered with five in their half of the inning and they would trail no more.
Three runs scored in that inning on a misplayed fly ball by West Memphis senior Austin Sudbury. Denver Burton and Mason Kearney then added RBI singles for a 5-2 Blue Devil cushion.
'Our kids are learning how to play,' Cordell added. 'Our goal on offense is to put up a crooked number every inning.'
The hosts put up another crooked number in the third with a lead-off triple by senior Jackson Beech igniting the three-run outburst.
With 1.2 innings of work, Williams recorded the save for Allsbrook, the winning pitcher. He set down the Chicks in order in the fifth to set up the final death knell for Blytheville.
With an 11-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth, John David Kemp reached base on an error and then came around to score on another three-base error. After Williams singled to center, Sudbury was the beneficiary of another Blytheville miscue and Burton singled to load the bases for Kearney.
Kearney lifted a sacrifice fly to center to plate Williams for the gameender.
Cordell had some lineup juggling for Wednesday's game. Senior third baseman Hayden Spears was held out with a right shoulder ailment that is still being diagnosed. Kearney moved from second base to third and Kemp started at second.
Spears could return to the lineup as a designated hitter the rest of the year, but there is still hope he can throw well enough to play in the field.
By Billy Woods