By R. Alan Richardson
The Morgan County Middle School baseball team, under the direction of Coach Rob Brown, is undefeated at this point of the season. They continued their winning ways last week with a pair of wins over Monticello in a doubleheader taking 6-2 and 8-2 victories.
Monticello struck early against the Dogs in the first game by scoring two runs in their first at bat to take an early lead. Morgan answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first when Keirreon Farley led off with a walk. Triston Stapp also walked to put the speedster Farley in scoring position. Dominic Arienzo ripped a line drive to left field that scored Farley with ease. Stapp scored on a fielder’s choice and Arienzo was driven in on a single by Maddox Smith to take a 3-2 advantage.
Starting pitcher Austin Knight settled in after the first and shut down Monticello’s offense until reliever Stapp came on and got the Bulldogs out of a jam in the third. With the bases loaded Stapp was able to get a comebacker to the mound forcing the runner out at home. He followed that up with a big strikeout to squelch the rally.
Morgan got two more runs in the third. Arienzo hit a laser to the left field fence that ended up in a double. Third baseman Brandyn Batchelor scored Arienzo on a single to left and eventually scored himself on an error by the second baseman off the bat of Luke Knight. The Dogs got another insurance run in the fourth inning when Stapp singled, moved to second on a fielder’s choice, and scored on another single by Batchelor to left field. The Bulldogs won in five innings. Middle School games are limited to five innings when playing doubleheaders.
In the nightcap, Morgan scored seven runs in the first two innings that were enough for the win. They got an insurance run in the fourth inning, but this one was never in doubt from the outset. Batchelor, Blaze Norman, Arienzo, and Trent Mizzell led the offensive onslaught for Morgan. Norman was 3-3 on the day with four RBI’s, a double, and two singles. Mizzell was outstanding on the mound. Over two innings of work he did not allow a hit, held the Canes scoreless, struck out one, and only allowed one free pass.