By: Sara Reid — Special to the Weakley County Press
Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 5:21 pm
Glad to be home — Dresden’s Eric VanDyke slides across home plate during the Lions’ 21-20 home win over South Fulton on Thursday afternoon. Photo by Sara Reid
What looked to be a certain Dresden blowout and a shortened game took a sharp turn in the fourth inning as the South Fulton Red Devils nearly decimated their deficit. Dresden held on to win, 21-20, this past Thursday in Dresden.
The batting heroics of Matt Beaty, who knocked a three-run home run and a grand slam on the way to putting the Lions up 17-0 after three innings, were nearly relegated to second-page news as the Red Devils scored 13 unanswered runs and continued to score until the last out in their one-run loss.
With Daniel Janes starting on the mound for the Lions, he forced two outs on pop flies, gave up two singles and ended the top of the order with a groundout. In the bottom of the first, Josh Bone led off with a double, Gatlin Hatchel grounded through the gap in left field and Beaty recorded his first shot over the fence to put the Lions up 3-0 after one.
Dresden snatched three quick outs to start the second and continued to bring the heat on offense. Eric VanDyke walked and Dale Hutcherson doubled before Colin Kanehl walked to load the bases. Bone singled to send in a run and Hatchel walked to send in another run. With no outs on the board and the bases still loaded, Beaty jumped on a pitch and went long again sending in four runs and putting Dresden up 9-0 after two innings.
South Fulton could do nothing in the top of the third and the Lions could still do no wrong. VanDyke led off with a double and Hutcherson walked. VanDyke scored on a wild pitch and Kanehl walked. The Red Devils traded pitchers and Bone grounded through the gap to send Hutcherson in and put the Lions ahead 11-0. In another bases-loaded situation, Hatchel singled to the fence and Beaty walked in to send in a run. Daniel Harris doubled to bring in a pair of runs, Jones singled to score a run and Bone rolled one past the second baseman to give Dresden a seemingly insurmountable 17-0 advantage after three. It was about to become a whole new ball game, however.
In the top of the fourth, South Fulton’s Sam Curtis led off with a walk and with a single and a double, the bases were loaded and the runs began to cascade. The visitors broke the seal on their scoring by recording five hits and trailed 17-7 in the middle of the fourth. Just as South Fulton found a rhythm, Dresden lost it. Failing to score a run for their first inning of the contest, they led into the fifth with the momentum on the side of the Red Devils.
After putting up seven runs in the fourth, the visitors scored six runs, recorded five hits and trailed just 17-13 going into the bottom of the fifth. Hutcherson led off with a walk, Kanehl drove a single to right field and Hatchel loaded the bases with a single. Beaty walked to send in a run, Harris popped up to score another run and Alex Robinson’s groundout sent in two and put the Lions up 21-13 after five.
South Fulton started the sixth with two walks and a triple to drive in two runs. With Hutcherson pitching, the visitors picked up two more hits and three walks and trailed 21-18 going into the bottom of the inning. The Lions stranded three and went into the seventh leading 21-18 over a South Fulton squad still smelling a comeback win.
The leadoff batter flew out, but a walk, a double and a grounder through the gap scored two and the visitors trailed just 21-20 with only one out on the board. Beaty was sent in to pitch as the Lions' fourth pitcher of the afternoon after a short outing by Bone, and he threw out a runner at second and forced Curtis to ground out to end the game with a 21-20 victory for the Lions.