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Powdersville pounds Dogs in AAA tourney opener, 9-1

Posted: May 1, 2017 4:26 p.m.
Updated: May 2, 2017 1:00 a.m.

Padding a modest two-run lead with a six-run fourth inning explosion, Powdersville moved into the driver’s seat in the AAA District 4 baseball tournament with a 9-1 win over host Camden Thursday night at American Legion Park.

The eight-run victory placed the Patriots in last night’s district championship round and hosted Camden with the Bulldogs having to beat the hosts twice in order for the Patriots to be denied a trip to the Upper State tournament.

Thursday’s game began on a sour note for Camden and starter Holden Bunch, who looked to be ready to escape a top of the first with no harm only for a two-out fielding error on Gavin Agin’s ground ball which allowed Colton Barbary to score the first run while prolonging the inning. Keith Becknell then singled home Paul Altieri with the eventual game-winning run.

By the time the hosts reached the scoreboard with a run in the fourth, the Pats had built an eight-run cushion.

Bunch, a sophomore, was making his first postseason start. CHS head coach Denny Beckley said he liked the composure he saw from the 6-foot-6 lefty after things did not go his way in the opening frame.

“I thought Holden handled that situation well; I really did,” he said. “He didn’t get the best results but I thought he was throwing the ball really well. It was a tight strike zone for both sides and I thought that he handled it, mentally, as well as he handled any situation he has been in all year.

“I told him that I was proud of him.”

Powdersville also started a sophomore in Bobby Olsen. The right-hander was perfect through three until Nick Butler sent a leadoff single to left to open the fourth. Olsen went the fist six frames, allowing five of Camden’s six hits while striking out two and issuing a pair of walks in a workman-like performance.

“Their pitcher did a great job of throwing strikes,” Beckley said of Olsen. “I think he only threw 56 pitches after five innings. He was very, very efficient.”

Things caved in on Camden in a top of the fourth in which the Pats sent 10 men to the plate, scoring six times on as many hits while chasing Bunch from the box in the process in favor of senior Parker David.

PHS collected three consecutive singles to lead things off. A walk and an RBI double from Barbary followed as the string reached five batters getting on board. Barbary’s two-bagger plated Dylan Desena with the fourth run while bringing David to the mound.

The Camden righty gave up a single to Bradley Hogan, the first batter he faced before Altieri and Josh Bookbinder walked as the first eight Patriot batters got on base. David snapped the streak when he fanned Agin for the second out. A two-out Becknell single drove in runs seven and eight with Bookbinder being thrown out trying to take third on Becknell’s single only to be gunned down by the throw from Butler in center field to a waiting Devin Beckley at third base, who applied the tag on Bookbinder to end the rally.

Working with an eight-run lead, Olsen was hit up for a single from Butler to start the fourth. With one gone, Beckley drew a walk. A William Conn single to right loaded the bases for Tyler Maxwell, whose opposite field single to right scored Butler while reloading the bags as the Dogs seemed to have something cooking. The rally was short-circuited by a third to second to first double play.

Powdersville tacked on a run in the sixth to extend its lead to 9-1. Camden threatened in the bottom of the inning as Devin Beckley got on via a one-out error which was followed by Cobb’s scorching liner down the left field line for double. Olsen, however, would get out of the fix with a fly ball to shortstop and a strikeout.

Cobb and John Bailey each had two hits for Camden. The visitors used 11 hits --- with seven of those coming from the sixth through ninth holes in the batting order ---, seven walks, a hit batsman and two Camden errors to do its offensive damage.

Denny Beckley said he was impressed with the Region 2 runner-up’s approach at the plate and in the field.

“They’re a very good team. I was very impressed,” he said of the Patriots. “Their infielders fielded the ball very well and there actions were very fundamental. You can tell that they’re extremely well coached.

“Their hitters are disciplined and they did a good job of choking up on the bat and putting the ball in play with two strikes. You could see them (in batting practice) working on hitting the ball to the opposite field so they wouldn’t be off-balance. They have a really, really solid team.”



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