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Friday, May 6, 2016

Artesians down Eagles in late rally

Saturday, April 17, 2010

South Putnam catcher Brayden Freeman rockets a home run to left field during Friday's contest against Martinsville. The Eagles lost the game 11-10. [Order this photo]
GREENCASTLE -- Although the weather had begun to cool, the bats at South Putnam's diamond were red hot. The Eagles and Martinsville combined for eight home runs on the night and 21 runs. But it was a late charge by the Athenians that made the difference.

South Putnam head coach Ryan Gilman was pleased overall with his team's performance.

"We played well for the most part. We had a couple of innings that we made a few mistakes in and they came back to bite us a little bit. Plays that we had to make and we didn't get it done," Gilman said.

After Martinsville went scoreless in the first inning, South Putnam put four runs on the board to seize an early advantage.

Cameron Chestnut walked to the plate and belted a home run on the third pitch, and then starting pitcher John Spencer added a two-run blast late in the inning to account for the SPHS runs.

In the next inning, Martinsville showed it had some offensive firepower of its own.

The Athenians rocked the Eagles for eight runs in the second, including a big performance from Jordan Gray. Gray hit two home runs in the second inning, one of which was a grand slam. He ended the night with a 4-for-4 performance, with three home runs, a single and six RBIs.

South Putnam scored five runs over the next five innings to build a 10-8 lead into the seventh inning. The Eagles scored their one run in the sixth inning when Chestnut bunted his way to first and then stole second and third. He crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by Brayden Freeman.

In the top of the seventh, Gray once again wielded a big bat and blasted a shot to right-center field to bring the Athenians within one run of tying. After an untimely error and nice hitting by Martinsville, the Athenians had taken the lead 11-10 and it would take some last minute heroics from South Putnam to win the contest.

In their final at bat, Derek Dean reached on an error and was moved to second on a past ball. He found his way to third when Aaron Parker sent a shot down the left field line, but that's as far as Dean would make it. The Eagles' bats went cold and the game ended with Martinsville winning 11-10.

In addition to Chestnut and Spencer, Freeman, Nathan Welty and Drew Cash connected on home runs for South Putnam. The Eagles also got a nice performance from Spencer on the mound, something that didn't go unnoticed by his head coach.

"John did a really good job," Gilman commented. "He was locating and hitting his spots and getting a lot of pop ups and ground ball outs. He did a fantastic job. That's a pretty good hitting team and they've scored a lot of runs coming in. To hold them down to 11 runs, he did a good job."

South Putnam will take on Monrovia Monday at 5 p.m.

At South Putnam

Martinsville 080 000 3 -- 11 8 3

S. Putnam 401 401 0 -- 10 12 3

WP -- Wells

LP -- Spencer

Save -- Gray

HR -- (SP) Chestnut, Freeman, Welty, Spencer, Cash

Next game -- South Putnam will take on Monrovia Monday at 5 p.m.