Tigers complete area sweep of Bulldogs

By Staff
Mike Self FCT Sports Editor
BELGREEN - Things are finally starting to come together for the Red Bay Tigers the way coach Donnie Hastings envisioned when the season began.
Kurt Kennedy struck out 13 batters and Bradley Long had four of Red Bay's 17 hits on Tuesday as the Tigers completed a two-game area sweep of Belgreen with an 18-0 victory over the Bulldogs.
Lowery no-hit the Bulldogs in Monday's series opener, and Kennedy lost his bid for a no-hitter with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning on Tuesday.
Kennedy ended up allowing two hits and two walks in a five-inning complete game. The senior righthander struck out seven consecutive batters at one point.
The Tigers (4-13, 2-4 Class 2A, Area 16) gave Kennedy plenty of offensive support, scoring 10 runs in the first inning en route to their highest run total of the season.
Long went 4-for-5 with two doubles, three RBIs and three runs scored. Kennedy and Byron Hellums each finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored, and Sammy Thigpen was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs.
Lowery and Brent Sartin each added two hits and two runs scored.
Hellums and Long each had two hits in the first inning as Red Bay sent 15 men to the plate.
Thigpen had a two-run single, and Hellums, Lowery and Chad Nichols each came through with two-out RBI hits.
The Tigers added a run in the second inning when Sartin singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single by Kennedy.
Morgan Stanfield's sacrifice fly scored Lowery in the top of the third for a 12-0 lead.
Red Bay tacked on five more runs in the top of the fourth inning.
Sammy Thigpen led off with an infield hit, and Kennedy followed with a single to left.
A run scored when Hellums reached on an error, and Long's RBI single made it 14-0.
Another run later scored when Stanfield reached on a fielder's choice, and Jimmy Thigpen was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make it 16-0.
Eli Cox's RBI single to center field capped the inning.
Kennedy had recorded 10 consecutive outs on strikeouts when Kalan McNatt broke up his no-hit bid with a two-out single to right in the bottom of the fourth.
Nathan Hamilton's single in the fifth was the only other hit for Belgreen (2-11, 0-6).
Kennedy pulled off the rare feat of striking out four batters in an inning in the bottom of the second. He struck out Justin Gardner and McNatt to open the frame, and Brent Newell reached first after strike three on him got by Stanfield behind the plate.
Kennedy then fanned Will Richardson to end the inning.
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