<strong>LOGAN—</strong>With the play-offs coming quickly the battle for second place continued in the rain Monday when the Logan Royals hosted the Smithfield Blue Sox. With incredible pitching on both teams, runs were hard to come by but the Blue Sox took an early lead and would hold on to it to edge out the Royals 5-1.
Smithfield started things off when Brennan Reese drew a walk and progressed to third with the help of Todd Barr’s double. Smithfield’s Jordan Hansen then drilled a fastball way over the center field fences with a three-run home run. In the bottom of the first Logan looked to answer. Trace Hansen hit a deep ball to center field, but was left on second base when a fly-out secured the final out of the inning.
“We came out well,” said Kyle Andersen. “We got a good lead and that really helps you with pitching.”
Both teams fielded and pitched well. Kyle Andersen held Logan to one run, three hits, and threw two strikeouts and Mckay Hedin threw five strikeouts and only allowed Smithfield six hits-neither team got a hit in the second or third innings.
In the top of the fourth Logan’s Steve Vincent made a diving catch in center field and caught another fly ball to keep Smithfield from scoring, but Logan was again unable to put any points on the board with the only hit again coming from Trace Hansen.
“The guys are always hearing me get on them about playing form behind,” said Smithfield coach Vic Bingham. “But tonight we jumped out on top, Kyle threw a great game, and the guys made plays behind him on all the ground and fly balls.”
The batting woes continued in the fifth for both teams as the pitching and fielding continued to be the story of the game, each team only committing one error.
With the rain starting in the fifth balls and gloves became wet and the Blue Sox were in position to capitalize. With the bases loaded Logan looked to have an easy out at first when they over threw first base and allowed two runs. Logan added a run in the bottom, but it was too little too late.
The heavens opened and it started pouring for the seventh inning, and both pitchers closed the game ending at 5-1 in favor of Smithfield.
“Jordan is a strong hitter. If you throw him a fastball he’s going to hit it hard. Other than that one I gave him I felt I threw well,” said Hedin. “We struggled with batting but we have six games left this week and we’ll turn things around to get some W’s.”
Weather permitting, both Logan and Smithfield will be playing home games Wednesday.