MT. VERNON —
Benton's Gus Gibbs held down the Rams baseball offense for most of Monday's eight-inning game.
It all ended when Mt. Vernon's Jake Pike launched a walk-off triple in the eighth inning to give the Rams a 2-1 victory.
“We battled the whole game,” Pike said. “We had great pitching.
“In my opinion you just have to do what you can do at the plate, and that's what I tried to do with that last at-bat.”
The Rams started the inning with the top of their lineup. Ryan Campbell, and Reed Millwood both got out. Thomas Weber knocked a single and was removed for pinch runner Tyler Morgan. Pike hammered his extra-base hit to the deepest part of center field, sending Morgan scampering around the bases to score the winning run.
“Jake smoked that ball,” Mt. Vernon coach Tim Holloway said. “Any other park, that ball's gone. I'm real proud of our guys. We had good at-bats all day. It was one of those days that we hit the ball hard all day, and they kept making plays.”
Reed Millwood helped keep the game at 1-1 in the sixth inning with a critical defensive play. With a Benton runner perched on third base and two outs, Derek Oxford lined a ball that appeared to be headed for right field. Millwood reached out and snagged the ball out of the air to end the inning and preserve the tie.
“Our defense was outstanding,” Holloway said. “Reed Millwood saved a run with that diving catch.”
Blake Jones pitched all eight innings and didn't walk a single Benton batter.
“He battled today without his good breaking ball, which is one of his better pitches,” Holloway said. “So for that reason we are really proud of him, not giving in. When they hit the ball hard, he was able to come right back and get out of it.”