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Thursday, May 5, 2016

South Putnam tames Bruins in 5-3 win

Saturday, May 7, 2011

South Putnam's Grant Zimmerman slids into home past the Tri-West catcher during Friday's 5-3 win over the Bruins. [Order this photo]
Junior Rob Gibson smashed a three-run home run in the bottom of fourth inning to give South Putnam all the cushion it would need as it defeated visiting Tri-West 5-3 Friday.

"We played well. In the field, Chips (Seth Hammond) did a great job throwing a lot of strikes, did a great job keeping them off balance -- got a lot of ground ball outs, got a lot of fly ball outs and we made the plays we needed to make," South Putnam head coach Ryan Gilman said.

The Eagles battled back after going down 1-0 in the top of the third inning as a double from Austin Lynn drove in Levi Baumer who had reached on a walk.

Justin Bumgardner got things going for the Eagles with a single to the left side. Gibson came to the plate next and smacked a hard, high shot to left field, and what seemed to be a routine play turned into anything but one.

As the ball made it's way into the infield, a throw to first sailed wide and went to the fence allowing Bumgardner to break for second and ultimately third. A bad throw to third, afforded Bumgardner the chance to stroll over home plate for the first Eagles run of the game.

Senior Grant Zimmerman scored later in the inning as he slid past the Tri-West catcher after a long shot to left field by Cody Heller.

In the fourth, J.D. Briones led off with a walk and was joined on base by Nick Scott who beat the throw to first. Logan White bunted and reached, but Sawyer Arnold, who came in to run for Briones, was gunned down at third. The same situation replayed itself on the next play when Bumgardner bunted and reach, while Scott was thrown out at third.

With White and Bumgardner on base, Gibson walked to the plate and sent the third pitch he saw into the outfield of the adjacent softball diamond to plate three runs and put the Eagles up 5-1.

The upbeat South Putnam squad continued to play great defense, but Tri-West still had a little fire left in its bats.

Tyler Carter connected on a solo shot in the top of the sixth inning to bring the Bruins with three of the Eagles at 5-2. In the seventh, after recording two outs, Lynn drove a high shot to straight away centerfield. Gibson tracked the ball from the crack of the bat and positioned himself at the fence and made a strong effort to snag the ball as it careened out of the park. Unfortunately, the ball skirted just above his glove, giving Lynn the home run and pulling the Bruins even closer at 5-3.

But two batters later, Dustin Burks hit a soft shot to Bumgardner who squeezed his glove to record the games final out. Gibson led the Eagles by going 3-for-4 with a home run, four RBIs and three stolen bases.

Gibson is having a solid year batting lead-off for the Eagles and Gilman knows the lift the junior brings to the team.

"It's great," Gilman said. "Robbie at the top of the lineup where he has some power with the speed. He's hitting the ball really well, seeing the ball really well right now. He's not hitting a lot of pop flies, he's hitting a lot of ground balls and line drives, which is what we preach. He's doing a great job of getting us started and getting us going."

Starting pitcher Hammond pitched a complete game allowing six hits and two strikeouts.

Friday alternated between cool breezes and warm sunlight, but the one constant was no rain. Gilman said his team was ready to roll from the start.

"It's been the first time in a while we've been able to actually get out here and do something instead of working on the field, getting the mound ready or something like that. The kids were excited and ready to play today, which was good," Gilman said

At South Putnam

Tri-West 001 001 1 -- 3 6 2

S. Putnam 002 300 x -- 5 11 1

WP -- Hammond

HR -- Gibson (SP); Lynn (TW), Carter (TW)

2B -- Lynn (TW), Broyles (TW)