Glenwood baseball stutters before break

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By Wil Crews
sportscrews@opelikaobserver.com

“We limped to Spring Break,” said Glenwood Varsity Boys’ baseball coach Tim Fanning.

The Gators entered a week-long hiatus on Tuesday following a bit of a cold streak by their standards, losing two of their last five games.

Glenwood’s most recent game was a 10-0 win on Monday over CEH High School (Louisville, Kentucky) in Panama City Beach, Florida. The Gators were led by another dominant performance from senior pitcher Trevor Horne. The Auburn University commit threw just 74 pitches in six innings of scoreless work, striking out 16 batters and allowing just one hit. Horne also went 2-for-4 with a home run and 5 RBI. Ty Smith went 3-for-4 with a double and three runs, and Trent Edwards went 2-for-3 with a double.

Before that, however, Glenwood traveled to Social Circle, Georgia, to play a round-robin, four-game weekend schedule against Social Circle High School and Bremen High School of Bremen, Georgia.

With a flurry of recent games fatiguing the top of the pitching rotation, Fanning went with an exclusively sophomore rotation over the weekend.

“Horne and Dempsey pitched against Lee-Scott, so the sophomores pitched the whole time,” Fanning said. “Some good; some bad.”

The first game against Bremen on Friday night falls under the “some bad” category – that’s when the limping began. Jacob Page got the start and kept Glenwood in the game, allowing just three runs in six innings. However, despite the solid performance, Page was removed from the mound with the Gators trailing 3-2 with one inning remaining in the game. Hunter Deason entered in relief and allowed two more Bremen runs.  That’s where the score would stay as Glenwood suffered its sixth loss of the season, 5-2, with Page taking the loss. 

“We left a lot of runners on base against Bremen,” Fanning said. “It wasn’t like we didn’t get runners on, we just did not get them in. That was the bottom line.”

The second game on Friday night was a sign of better things to come. When Glenwood quickly fell behind 4-1 after three innings, sophomore Avery Robinson entered the game to pitch in relief, returning after a three-week injury layoff.

“It was pretty awesome to get him back,” Fanning said. “We haven’t had him for so long, so to see him come in and respond that way was phenomenal. We need him down the stretch for sure.”

Robinson was stellar in four innings of work, allowing zero runs on just two hits, striking out seven. Energized by their pitcher’s command on the mound, the Gators scored one run in sixth and three in the seventh to pull off the comeback 5-4 victory. Garrison McClary went 1-for-2 with a double and two RBI; Cam Carpenter went 1-for-2 with two RBI; and Horne went 1-for-3 went a double and one RBI.

The Gators didn’t have long to relish in the win, as another game against Bremen was on the docket Saturday. Once again, the Peach State team got the better of Glenwood, downing the Gators 9-3. Another Sophomore, Jackson Kennon, took the loss on the mound.

“He battled, but he just had too many walks,” Fanning said of Kennon. “I mean, they are a good team, so they capitalized.” 

Fanning had minced words about the poor performance in general, but was most frustrated with his team’s inability to plate runners from scoring positions.

“Again, we had guys on, we just couldn’t get them in,” he said.

The highlights from the hitters were few and far between but Horne, as consistent as ever, went 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI, and Smith went 2-for-4 with one RBI.

Finally, the last game of the weekend was a rematch against Social Circle. Sophomore Tyler Wadkins took the mound and pitched a complete game three hit shutout, leading the Gators to a 6-0 win.

“He was superb,” Fanning said of Wadkins. “And we needed it because we basically didn’t have anybody left. We were just out of arms because we had played so much …

“He just pounded the zone and we made a ton of plays. He didn’t strike a ton of guys out but defensively we played extremely well.”

At the plate, Luke Holman led the way, going 3-for-4 with two RBI. Chandler Jones followed behind him, going 2-for-4 with two doubles and one RBI. Horne had an average day by his standards, finishing 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Carpenter added one RBI of his own and Smith had two singles in his two plate appearances.

Fanning was also quick to shout out Smith’s defense from the shortstop position. “He just made play after play after play,” he said. “It was a really good day.”

The Gators’ record now sits at 23-7. They return to action on April 6 against Springwood.

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