La CENTER – A day after posting a 12-run shutout on Ballard Memorial, Graves County did a repeat performance against the Bombers, 17-0, in a Third District rematch Wednesday.
The Eagles led 8-0 entering the sixth inning when they ran up nine more runs, which featured the second 3-run home run on the night.
Meanwhile, Jordyn Naranjo (3-1) threw five innings as Mitchell O’Neill closed in the sixth to hold the Bombers scoreless for the second straight game off only two hits. Drew Montgomery (2-3) and Cade Green combined for Tuesday’s 12-0 game with only one hit allowed to Ballard.
Naranjo, a Murray State signee, said he was able to get ahead on counts with his fastball. “It opened up chances for me to throw off speed, work on my curve ball, change up, and it worked,” he said.
Catcher Brandon Richards saw that first hand from all four lockdown pitchers.
“They’ve been hitting their spots and have been doing a great job,” he added.
Offensively, it took a bit for Graves County to get going against the Bombers’ Hayden Buchanan, who got the Eagles to hit into five outs over the first two innings and eventually struck out Pierson Perdue that left two on base.
In the third inning with bases full, Lane Howell’s double to left field past third baseman Hunter Buchanan scored two. Two sacrifice fly balls by Richards and Taylor Goodwin set up a 4-0 lead.
An inning and two walks later, Drew Cooper sent his 1-1 pitch clear of the right corner fence for the night’s first 3-run homer.
Cooper, who finished 2-for-5 with four RBIs, said he wasn’t seeing the ball too well in his two prior at-bats.
“I think I finally saw a fastball up the middle,” he said of his home run ball. “I had the wind blowing a little bit. I kinda knew it was going over and tried not to act too big about it.”
In the fifth frame, Chase Carrico hit an RBI single for an 8-0 lead. In the sixth, the Eagles batted around during the 9-run inning. Conner Mills and Naranjo both hit 2RBI doubles and Cooper added another run with a single, 14-0.
A .333 batter, Richards finished up with his 3-run home run over the left-centerfield fence.
“I was looking for fastball,” he said after the win. “(Reliever Konner Myatt) threw me a first-pitch fastball and I was expecting another one and I turned on it.”
Richards was 2-for-4 with four RBIs. Howell finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs. Carrico was 2-for-2 and Mills was 3-for-3, both with two RBIs each, to help set up a 12-hit outing.
Graves County moved to 2-0 in the Third District, while the Bombers slipped to 0-2.
Next Up – The Eagles (10-7) are scheduled to host the Eagle Classic Saturday with an 11 a.m. game against Bradford, Tennessee, and 6:30 p.m. game against Webster County.