Strikeouts and shutouts; Hurst and Hanceville down Good Hope 6-0

Josh McBrayer

GOOD HOPE – A soggy day did little to dampen the spirits of Hanceville or the arm of senior Branen Hurst as he hurled 107 pitches, striking out 13 Raiders on his way to a 6-0 shutout of Good Hope. Hurst was dominating from the first pitch to the 107th, while the Bulldogs backed him up with some strong defense and timely hitting.

It didn’t take long for Hanceville to dent the scoreboard, as the plated a man in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead and never looked back. Sebastian Campbell led off the game, ripping a single through the infield. Gaiven Cruce moved him along with a sac bunt and Hurts followed with a single of his own. With two outs, Jason Yates filled up the sacks when he reached on a fielder’s choice. Isaac Holmes was the next Bulldog to climb in the box and he picked up an RBI the hard way, getting plunked in the side to force home Campbell and give the Bulldogs the lead.

Hurst kept Good Hope off the board and the base paths, carving up hitters with a deceptive fastball and a wicked hook that he had working all day.

Not to be outdone, Malachi Holt was spinning a gem on the hill for the Raiders, keeping the Bulldog bats quiet until the fifth.  Cruce led off the top of the fifth with a single and was quickly moved to second when Hurts was hit by a pitch. Two batters later, Yates smashed a two bagger for an RBI. Holmes followed with a sac fly to earn an RBI and the Bulldogs extended their lead to three.

Two innings later, Hanceville all but ended the game, scoring three more times in the top of the seventh on a two-RBI ground rule double off the bat of Yates and an RBI double from Holmes to make the final 6-0 in favor of the Bulldogs.

Hanceville improves to 3-0 on the season and will suit up next vs. Hayden on Friday. Good Hope falls for the first time on the season, going to 2-1. They play again Thursday as they host St. Bernard. ​

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