"I have been playing baseball a long time, and winning is a lot more fun than losing" said Joel McDaniel on the Forest City Owls 11-6 win against the Asheboro Copperheads in a redemption game from Asheboro, NC.
After a four run inning by the Copperheads in the third, it would be Jordan Eckard with two on and one out to come up to the plate and hit one that flew all the way back to McNair field. Eckard's three run home run would score Henderson and AJ Wright and give the Owls a 5-4 lead.
The seven, eight and nine hitters (Paul Salata, Andrew Friedholm, and Corbin Watson) would go to work in the bottom of the 6th, as they would load the bases up and all come around to score. The Owls would get those three home, plus another run from Henderson off the Sacrifice Fly from AJ Wright and a 2RBI single from Eckard. Eckard would finish the game going 3-4 with a home run and five RBIs.
"Players like him [Eckard] are always grinding out at bats. Its very rare that he gets up there and gets punched out one, two, three and so he was due for a big night and I hope he can keep that momentum going" said Head coach Matt Reed.
The Owls would tally 11 runs on 11 hits in a game where the offense was going up against the Copperheads, who came into the game with a 2.20 ERA (2nd in the league).
"Any chance you get to put up 11 runs on 11 hits it's a good night. I didn't think our hitters were as clutch hitting as they could have been and tonight we good job of being more selective and getting clutch hits when we needed to" said Reed.
The pitching would come to perform as well, holding the Copperheads to six runs on seven hits. The Copperheads came in to the game with a league leading 115 hits and the Owls found a way to shut them down.
Redmond Walsh, out of the University of Tennessee, would be the last pitcher to come in for the Owls and would have his best pitching outing of the season. Walsh would go 4 1/3, giving up two runs on three hits and striking out eight Copperhead batters, a team who has only struck out 71 times this season as a team.
"Red went up there and did what he does best and pound the strike zone. He rebounded when he needed to and execute his pitches" said Reed.
Walsh would strike out three in 9th inning to preserve the 11-6 win for the Owls. The Owls move to 6-4 on the year and move into striking distance of first place in the division (.5 a game behind the Copperheads).
The Owls will take on the High Point Thomasville Hi-Toms on Thursday. June 14 for "Bark in the Park" night at McNair Field. Tickets available at forestcitybaseball.com and can be watched at portal.stretchinternet.com/cplowls