Averett uses big first inning to defeat Bridgewater

bridgewater eaglesAverett scored five times in the top of the first inning Thursday afternoon and never trailed on the way to a 12-7 non-conference victory over Bridgewater College.

Averett’s Chip Granderson led off the game with a single to right and Chase McKinney followed with a bunt single. The Eagles then threw away Hunter Ashworth’s sacrifice bunt attempt and Granderson scored on the error to put the Cougars on the board. With runners on second and third, Bradley Tickle singled to right, scoring McKinney to make it 2-0. Ashworth scored on a double by A.J. Hart and Tickle trotted home on a sacrifice fly by Dallas Smithers for a 4-0 Cougars’ lead. Matt Tuggle capped the big inning with a run-scoring hit through the right side to put Averett on top 5-0.

Trailing 5-0, the Eagles got a run back in the bottom of the first when Chris King doubled and scored on a single up the middle by Brett Jones.

Averett responded in the top of the second with a run to regain the five-run cushion, 6-1.

The Eagles chipped away at the deficit with one run in the second and two runs in the fourth to pull to within 6-4.

Garrison Wright walked to leadoff the second and moved to third on a throwing error on Cameron Stanley‘s grounder. Wright scored when Jacob Talley grounded into a double play as the Eagles trimmed the margin to 6-2.

Talley led off the fourth inning and reached on an infield error and Parker Mead followed with a bunt single. Brandon Poole moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt and Austin Batten chased both runners home with with a two-run single, making the score 6-4.

Averett increased its lead with two runs in the top of the sixth. Zack DeCarlo led off with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. DeCarlo scored on Trey Wall’s double to left center to put the Cougars up 7-4. Wall moved to third on a groundout and scored on McKinney’s bunt single to make it 8-4.

The Eagles loaded the sacks on the bottom of the sixth, but managed just one run. Batten led off and was hit by a pitch and, with one out, Jones walked. Batten scored on JT Creed‘s base hit to pull the Eagles to within 8-5. Wright walked to load the bases, but Stanley grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

The Cougars took advantage of an error and wild pitch to add two runs in the seventh. Hart singled to lead off the inning and Smithers reached on an error. With runners at second and third, Hart scored on a wild pitch and Smithers crossed the plate on DeCarlo’s sacrfice fly as Averett moved out to a 10-5 lead.

A solo homer in the bottom of the seventh by Poole moved the Eagles closer at 10-6 and another run in the eighth sliced the margin to 10-7. Kenner Berry led off the eighth with a walk and he moved to third on Creed’s one-out double. Berry scored on Wright’s sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to three runs.

Averett added two insurance runs in the to of the ninth and Sawyer Smith retired the Eagles in the bottom half of the inning to preserve the 12-7 victory.

Jones led the Eagles offense with a 3-for-4 day at the plate. Poole and Creed added two hits each.

Bridgewater, now 10-14, returns to action Saturday when the Eagles hit the road for a conference doubleheader at Virginia Wesleyan.

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