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Mustangs split doubleheader with HiToms
Locklear locks down HiToms in second game
Martinsville’s Charley Gould (center) tags High Point-Thomasville’s Alec Paradowski out at the plate during the second game of a double header Thursday at Hooker Field. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
Friday, June 13, 2014
By DOUG POWELL - Bulletin Sports Writer
Making his first-career start for the Martinsville Mustangs, starting pitcher Andrew Locklear struck out eight batters in six innings of work as the Mustangs picked up a 4-3 win over the High Point-Thomasville HiToms in the second game of a doubleheader in seven innings at Hooker Field.
The HiToms (6-6) won the first game 18-10, a game that was resumed in the fourth inning with High Point-Thomasville leading 12-4 after being delayed by rain Wednesday at High Point-Thomasville.
“That (game) kind of deflated the guys a little bit, but (a) quick-turnaround, 20 minutes, they forget about it,” Martinsville head coach Joey Seal said. “That’s kind of been the story of our season. Our ability to forget about the bad ones and bounce back and turn out a quality ball game.”
After Martinsville (6-8) and the HiToms combined to score 28 runs in the first game, runs were hard to come by in the second.
For HiToms head coach Austin Love, that was all because of Locklear.
“He did a great job of just slowing the ball down,” he said. “He used his fast ball in good spots. He really executed his pitches.”
In his six innings, Locklear only gave up one run, as Glen Batson scored on a wild pitch in the fifth inning. Batson had reached third base on a triple after the Mustangs’ Adam Goss failed to catch what looked to be a makeable play in left field.
Locklear struck out at least one HiToms batter in each inning except the first, when he gave up two hits to begin the game. But he would only give up three more hits through the next five innings as he gave a 4-1 lead to Martinsville closer Cody Creamer.
“That’s one reason we stuck him in that starting spot because relieving, he had proven that he can pound the zone,” Seal said of Locklear. “That’s what we needed. That’s a very good hitting ball club and he kept them off-balance all night.”
Creamer made things interesting in the final inning as the first two batters he faced — Austin Crutcher and Trip Dunn — recorded doubles to begin the inning. Dunn’s double scored Crutcher to make the score 4-2 and a Spencer Mahoney single to right field made the score 4-3 with two outs.
“Those were the first two runs he’s allowed this year,” Seal said of his closer. “But we have faith in him. I know that he is going to come through.”
Creamer got leadoff hitter Alec Paradowski to groundout to second base for the final out and secure the win.
Neither team made an error in the game and High Point-Thomasville actually out-hit the Mustangs 8-5 on the game.
All of Martinsville’s hits were supplied from their No. 2, 3 and 4 hitters in the lineup led by second baseman Eric Lowe who was 3-for-3 with an RBI. Charley Gould and Max Beermann were each 1-for-2 and Beermann drove in two runs — both in the first inning.
HiToms starting pitcher Preston Johnson lasted just 3 1/3 innings and allowed five hits, two walks and four earned runs.
“He just didn’t have it,” Love said. “He competed though. He gave us three and some change and kept us close to where we could try to do something there in the end, but overall disappointed because I know what he can do.”