Stanfield 'money' in the clutch for Red Bay

By Staff
Mike Self, Franklin County Times
VINA – Morgan Stanfield's key two-run homer in Red Bay's 6-4 win over Vina on Friday did more than just bounce off the scoreboard beyond the left field fence-it may also have put a sizable dent in his mother's pocketbook.
"My mom told me yesterday that she would give me $500 if I hit a home run off the scoreboard," said Stanfield, whose fifth-inning blast off Morgan McCarley gave the Tigers a 5-2 lead and helped propel them into the finals of the Franklin County Tournament. "I haven't collected yet, but she's on her way to the bank right now."
Stanfield's homer was the big blow in a game that was much closer than Red Bay's 20-3 rout of the Red Devils the previous night.
"You may not believe it, but I woke up at 3 a.m. this morning just dreading this game," Red Bay coach Donnie Hastings said. "I knew it would be a lot closer, because Vina's just too good of a team for it not to be. They have some really good hitters, and I knew they would come out and play better today."
Right on cue, the Red Devils (4-10) jumped out to an early lead on RBI singles by Anthony Hester and Brent Townsend in the bottom of the first inning.
Red Bay responded with a run in the second and another in the third to tie the game.
The score was still tied 2-2 in the top of the fifth when Cody Armstrong doubled and later scored on a balk to give the Tigers their first lead. With two outs and a man on, Stanfield blasted a first-pitch fastball from McCarley over the fence in left.
"I went up there ready to be aggressive just in case he hung one on the first pitch," said Stanfield, one of four Red Bay players to finish with two hits.
The pitch to Stanfield was one of the few mistakes McCarley made on the night. The freshman righthander struck out eight batters in a complete game, keeping the Tigers off balance with his tantalizing curveball.
"We've seen some guys with good curveballs so far this year, but Morgan definitely had us chasing his tonight," Hastings said.
The game featured an interesting contrast between McCarley's breaking ball and the hard fastball of Armstrong, who went the distance and held Vina to four runs on eight hits. The sophomore hurler allowed an run-scoring infield hit to Townsend in the bottom of the seventh but then retired Cass White on a soft liner to first with the tying run on second base to end the game.
"Cody's locked horns with a lot of good pitchers this year," Hastings said. "He pitched another good game for us tonight."
Ely Cox had two hits for Red Bay, including an RBI double in the top of the seventh that pushed the Tigers' lead to 6-3. Armstrong and Derrick Miller each had two hits and two runs scored. Dillon Massey added a double and an RBI.
Hester and Townsend each had two hits and two RBIs for Vina, and White also had two hits. Randy Barnes and Max Weeks each added one hit.
In previous action:
Red Bay 20 Vina 3
Ely Cox went 2-for-4 with five RBIs and Stephen Prestage added three hits and three RBIs to lead Red Bay and Thursday.
Cody Armstrong went 3-for-3 with three runs scored for the Tigers, and Brandon Brown and Nathan Hopkins each had two hits and three runs. Morgan Stanfield was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs, and Nicholas Taylor went 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
Hopkins was the winning pitcher, striking out seven in five innings of work.
Paul Wilkins had two hits for Vina, and Brent Townsend drove in two runs.

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