ATHENS, Ala. – West Point made the trip to Athens Tuesday night for a showdown with the Eagles and the Warriors left with a 10-0 win thanks in large part to a 1-hit, shutout performance from Eli Folds on the mound. West Point put Athens away in just five innings after plating six runs in the top half of the fifth to pull away and end it early.
After a scoreless opening inning that included a 10-pitch frame by Folds, the Warriors loaded the bases with two outs in the top half of the second with singles from Chase Sibley and Folds and a walk from Brody Freeman. Sibley scored on an infield error to give West Point a 1-0 lead but a flyout ended the inning a few pitches later.
Folds dealt with a couple of base runners in the bottom of the second but a groundout and a flyout got the Warriors out of the inning with a 1-0 lead. Will Cochran drew a walk and Isaac Hoffpauir singled into right field to put a pair of runners on the bases and Cochran scored on another error just a few pitches later to make it 2-0. Hoffpauir then scored on a passed ball during the next at bat to tack on another run and after Calden Rogers was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners, Thornton scored on another passed ball to make it a 4-0 game going into the bottom of the third.
The Eagles went three up, three down in their half of the third but managed to get some runners on base in the fourth. A pair of walks and a hit batter loaded the bases for Athens with two outs, but Folds got the last batter to fly out and got out of the jam with no damage on the scoreboard.
The top half of the fifth is when the Warriors put things away. Sibley singled into left field to give West Point a pair of base runners early in the fifth and Freeman drew a walk to load up the bases. Folds was hit by a pitch, bringing in Rogers to make it 5-0 and Branson Smith drove a 2-run double into left field to stretch the lead to 7-0. Cochran singled to left to score Folds and make it 8-0 and just three pitches later, Hoffpauir singled to right to bring Smith home and make it a 9-0 game. Thornton drew a walk to reload the bases and JD Cochran drew a walk in the next at bat to force in another run and make it 10-0 going into the bottom half of the fifth.
Folds put the Eagles away on just nine pitches in the bottom of the fifth and secured a 10-0 win for the Warriors in five innings.
Hoffpauir and Sibley each finished with two hits for West Point in the win and Smith led the way with a pair of RBIs. Folds and Will Cochran each added hits for the Warriors as well. West Point will return home Thursday to take on Fairview at 4:30 p.m.
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