HONAKER, Va. —
Some teams work on making contact.
Honaker has made it a habit.
A nine-run third inning carried the Tigers to an 11-1 win over Black Diamond District rival Grundy in five innings Friday evening at Harding Field.
Honaker combined patience -- drawing seven walks -- and putting the ball in play against a Grundy defense that matched the Tigers' hit total of five.
The number that impressed veteran Honaker coach Tom Harding most was two. For the second game in a row the Tigers struck out just twice
against good pitching.
"These boys have been patient all year, we've made people throw strikes and I can't ask them to do more," Harding said. "They put it in play and that's what you need in high school.
"We only struck out two times and we only struck out two times (Thursday) night. That's four times in two days, two games, and that's pretty dang good."
Tyler Hale had two hits in his only two trips to the plate, with a double down the right field line that drove in the first Honaker run in the second inning and a bunt single in the middle of the nine-run third.
Avin Parrott, Jacob Mitchell and Hunter Lester had RBI hits and Makenzie Phillips walked and scored twice in the inning.
"I just tried to put the ball in play," Hale said. "We don't swing at too many bad pitches. We try to make people throw strikes and get their pitch counts high early in the game."
Losing pitcher Charles McCoy issued four of his seven walks in inning number three and Grundy contributed three of its five errors in the frame.
"You give a team like Honaker second chances and, especially free bases on walks, they're going to win every time," Grundy coach Scotty Bostic said.
"We hit the ball decent and put the ball in play, but they made the plays and we didn't make the routine plays half the time. Till we get consistent and get better it's going to be the same result against a good team."
The Tigers improved to 7-0 with the win and got its second complete game effort on the mound in as many nights. The game was called after five innings under the 10-run mercy rule.
In picking up his second victory in as many starts Hunter Meade allowed just two hits. One of them was a towering home run to right off the bat of Golden Wave first baseman Daniel Tiller in the fifth.
"I can't say enough good things about Hunter Meade," Harding said. "He shut Bluefield down, he shut (Grundy) down. He gave up that home run, but when you've got an 11-run lead you just pound the strike zone and that's what he did."
Meade notched four of his five strikeouts in the final two innings and didn't walk a single batter.
Honaker turned one double play behind him and Parrott made a great diving catch of a sinking line drive off the bat of McCoy in the first inning.
It was the fifth loss in a row for Grundy after a 2-0 start.
at Tom Harding Field
Grundy..............000 01 — 1 2 5
Honaker...........029 0x — 11 5 0
C. McCoy and J. McCoy. Meade and Mitchell. W-Meade (2-0). L-C. McCoy
(1-3). HR-Tiller (G) 5th, none on.