By Josh Belanger
Zach Buck homered and sparked an eight-run sixth inning for the Hot Wings that led to a 12-1 victory over the Bunt Cakes last night at Waters Field.
Buck (Haverford) hit back-to-back home runs with Pete Nielsen (George Mason) to give the Hot Wings the lead in the second inning. Hitting in the sixth and seventh spots in the order, Nielsen and Buck went a combined 5-for-6, scored three times and drove in three runs. Bryce Johnson (Camp CC) also was productive at the bottom of the order for the Hot Wings with two hits and a pair of RBI.
“Anytime you can get production one through 10, that’s a good recipe for a win,” Hot Wings coach Morgan Spencer said. “A lot of these guys were high school players that missed their entire senior year that are seeing some pretty good college pitching, so there is always a learning curve but hope we are getting going at the right time.”
Left-hander Everett Catlett (Georgetown) started for the Hot Wings and allowed one run on three hits over three plus innings. Catlett also added five more strikeouts to his season total, which now sits at a league-best 20.
Ryan Dooley (VMI) added to the Hot Wings lead in the third with an RBI triple. The Bunt Cakes answered with a run of their own in the fourth after two hits and a fielder’s choice RBI from Nathan Cmyela (Dartmouth). In the fifth inning, Johnson delivered a sac fly to extend the Hot Wings lead 4-1.
Buck's third hit of the game would score a run and start a rally in the sixth inning for the Hot Wings. Jake Wortman followed with a pinch-hit bases-clearing double and later scored on another RBI from Johnson. Kyle Novak (James Madison) then put the game out of reach with a three-run home run to cap the inning.
“Our guys are starting to come together,” Spencer said. “Earlier in the season our guys were a little long and maybe trying to see how far they could hit the ball. Lately, our guys have been short and using the middle of the field. Hopefully we are getting hot at the right time.”
Catlett earned the win for the Hot Wings as Kenny Lippman (Denison), Ethan Snyder (William & Mary) and Jack Slade (Harford CC) did not allow a run in relief over the final four innings.
The Hot Wings (5-5) head into their weekend doubleheader with the 9-1 Night Owls having won two straight games while the Bunt Cakes (4-6) will look to snap their three-game losing streak against the Yard Dogs.
In other league action...Matt Thomas (William & Mary) and Lucas Donlon (Virginia Tech) each drove in a pair of runs while Nick Stewart (James Madison) allowed one hit and one run over 3.1 innings to earn his third win of the season in the Night Owls (9-1) 9-3 win over the Gators (3-7)…The Sliders (6-4) beat the Rough Riders (5-5), 12-4, behind a grand slam from Kyle Lyons (Bucknell) and a two-run blast from Tyler Casagrande (Arizona). Michael Grupe (Virginia Tech) got the win after allowing four unearned runs on five hits over 3.1 innings… The Yard Dogs (4-6) pounded 18 hits and beat the Bunt Cakes (4-6), 19-8. Jonathan Rivard (Virginia Tech), Alec Roberts (Allen CC), Brady Drawbaugh (Mount St. Mary’s) and Jaden Keuhner (Washington & Lee) each homered for the Yard Dogs.
Photo of Zach Buck by Josh Belanger