Thorsby defeats Hatton, next up third round
By Brandon Sumrall | Special to the Advertiser
A best of three series between the Thorsby Rebels and Hatton Hornets took all three games to decide, but with wins in game one (10-0) on Friday night and game three (9-6) on Saturday afternoon, the Rebels advanced to round three of the 2A state baseball playoffs.
After a scoreless first inning in game one, the Rebels got the scoring started in a big way in the bottom of the second inning by putting six runs on the board.
A single by Chase Birchfield set up an RBI single by Carson Cummings that was followed by back-to-back RBI doubles from Cain Niece and Bailey Sellers.
A two-run home run by Graham Blankenship and an RBI double by Trent Jones gave Thorsby a commanding 6-0 lead.
An RBI single by Jones in the bottom of the fourth and a RBI ground ball by Niece in the bottom of the fifth sent the game to the sixth with Thorsby leading by eight.
With Mason Blankenship aboard along with Jones, a double by Ricardo Sorcia gave Thorsby a 10-run lead and brought the game to a close on the mercy rule.
Sellers pitched a complete game shutout for the Rebels in game one, allowing only five hits with seven strikeouts.
Jones led at the plate with a 3-for-4 performance with a single, two doubles and two RBIs.
After a 6-4 loss in game two, the series was on the line in game three on Saturday.
Thorsby wasted little time getting points on the board as RBI singles by Jones and Birchfield gave the Rebels an early 2-0 lead.
Graham Blankenship extended the lead to three in the bottom half of the second inning with a RBI single that scored Adams and sent the game to the third with the home team leading 3-0.
The Hornets got on the board in the top of the third with a sacrifice fly to right, but Thorsby answered with another run of their own in the bottom half of the fourth, thanks to a RBI double by Graham Blankenship to keep the lead at three.
After a quite fifth inning for both teams, the action heated up dramatically in the fifth.
A leadoff out to center field was followed by a single that set up a two-out RBI double to make it a 4-2 game.
An RBI single cut the lead to one and set up a three-run home run that gave Hatton a 6-4 lead.
The bottom half of the sixth inning would start with a ground ball out that was be followed by a Hornets error to put Cummings aboard.
A hit by pitch to Niece and another Hatton error on a ball hit by Graham Blankenship scored Cummings, while leaving runners on second and third.
A ground ball out by Mason Blankenship accounted for two outs in the inning, but also scored Niece to tie the game at six-all.
With Jones drawing an intentional walk, an RBI single by Sorcia put the Rebels out in front by one and another Hatton error took place on a ball hit by Birchfield.
The momentum had swung and Thorsby saw the sixth inning come to a close with a 9-6 lead.
A leadoff walk to start the top of the seventh inning gave new life to the Hornets, but fly balls to right and left set up a game ending ground ball to Adams that was hurled to Jones for the game’s final out.
Graham Blankenship got the start on the mound for the Rebels in game three and threw 5 2/3 innings allowing six earned runs on 10 hits with four strikeouts and also led at the plate with a single, double and two RBIs.