Ad Spot

Vina seniors earn first taste of baseball playoffs

By Staff
Scot Beard
VINA – The showdown between the Vina varsity boys baseball team and Mount Hope looked more like a clinic and less like an area game as the host Red Devils cruised to a 19-0 victory.
The win was especially sweet for the seniors as they clinched a playoff berth in their final regular-season home game.
"(It feels) pretty good because we haven't been there before," senior first baseman Matthew Hester said.
Vina used a strong outing from Brent Townsend on the mound and abused the Mount Hope pitcher to take an early lead.
Townsend led off the first inning by singling to left, stealing second and scoring when Morgan McCarley reached base on an error. McCarley stole second and scored on a double by Adam Pharr, who scored on a double by Channing Haithcock to put the Red Devils ahead 3-0 with no outs in the bottom of the first inning.
Haithcock moved to third on a single by Hester and scored on a single by Cass White.
Clay pierce drew a walk to load the bases and Judd Childers reached on a fielder's choice as Mount Hope elected to get the force at home to retire Hester for the first out of the inning.
Patrick White struck out for the second out before Townsend got his second hit of the inning to score Cass White. McCarley doubled to drive home Pierce and Childers to put the Red Devils ahead 7-0 before Pharr grounded out to end the inning.
Vina added five more runs in the second inning when Haithcock singled, stole second and scored on a single by Cass White.
Cass White stole second and scored on a single by Pierce, who eventually scored on a single by Townsend.
Childers singled, advanced to third on Townsend's hit. McCarley singled to centerfield to score Childers and Townsend.
Mount Hope got its first base runner of the game with two outs in the top of the third inning when Brandon Kimbrough reached base on a dropped third strike. Townsend struck out the following batter to end the inning.
The Red Devils scored seven runs in the third inning as Vina sent 11 batters to the plate. It was the second time Vina batted around during the game.
Mount Hope tried to get a rally going in the fourth when Ryan Inman drew a walk. Chris Golden followed by reaching on a fielder's choice when Vina shortstop Patrick White opted to retire the Mount Hope runner advancing to second base for the second out of the inning.
Golden stole second, but Townsend struck out the next Mount Hope batter to end the threat.
Neither team scored again.
Townsend threw a no-hitter, striking out 11 and issuing only one walk to pick up the win.
"He threw the ball well," said senior catcher Cass White. Vina coach Greg Hamilton said part of that was because of the job Cass White did calling pitches.
Townsend finished the game with four singles while McCarley had a single and a double.
Pharr doubled and reached on a fielder's choice and Haithcock doubled twice, singled and drew a walk.
Hester singled, drew a pair of walks and nearly homered, but the wind blew the blast into foul territory.
Cass White hit three singles and Clay Pierce singled and drew two walks while Patrick White singled.
Childers, the team's only other senior, singled twice and reached on a fielder's choice. He also scored three runs.
"It was the best day I've had in a while," Childers said.
Childers, Townsend, Cass White and Haithcock each scored three runs for Vina. Pharr and Pierce scored two runs each and McCarley, Hester and Patrick White each scored one run for the Red Devils.
With the win, Vina secured second place behind Phillips in Class 1A, Area 15. The Red Devils will travel to the winner of Area 16 for the first round of the state playoffs. That series will begin April 17.