Redhawks Down Devils, Jackets

Deuntrey Gallman fouls one off his fists in the early goings Monday. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

Deuntrey Gallman fouls one off his fists in the early goings Monday. (Photo/DeAnna Robinson)

COLUMBIA (March 29, 2016) – The Westwood baseball team opened spring break in crackerjack form.

The Redhawks opened the Kershaw-Richland Classic wood bat tournament Monday with a 3-2 victory over Irmo, then capped the night with a 7-5 win over host team Dreher at the Blue Devils baseball field at the Memorial Stadium grounds.

“We’ve been preaching to our guys that when we have a chance to win, we need to take advantage of that,” Westwood head coach Jonathan Burroughs said. “We need to quit letting it slip away. When there’s blood in the water, we need to be sharks and not give it up.”

The Redhawks (7-4) showed they can close out a game against the Blue Devils (2-10).

Four Westwood pitchers combined to scatter five Blue Devils hits, which would have been a solid night on the mound were it not for Dreher making the most of Redhawks mistakes in two key innings. Dreher got four runs in the third and fourth innings, taking advantage of three walks, three hit batters, two hits and an error.

Westwood entered the bottom of the third commanding a 5-1 lead. Starting pitcher Lamar Gregory hit a batter and walked two more to load the bases with nobody out.

Designated hitter Matt Tindall then slapped a bouncing ball into short left centerfield. The live ball confounded the Redhawks defense enough to have Dreher’s Nic Webster and Craig Harrell cross the plate to make it 5-3.

That play chased Gregory from the mound. Ethan Barton came on in relief, but Dreher continued hitting.

Jake Collins then singled to drive in Matt Mintz to make it 5-4. The play put Tindall at third. Collins moved to second and Tindall was tagged out on Eddie Mattocks’ fielder’s choice.

Jay Washington and Jacob Herring went down for the second and third outs of the inning to strand Collins and Mattocks.

After a scoreless Westwood fifth, the Blue Devils made another run.

Webster grounded out to lead off the inning, but Matt Fusto reached base on a Westwood error. Barton then hit two Dreher batters to load the bases.

Barton walked Tindall to score Fusto and tie the game at 5.

“We gave three freebies in a row to them,” Burroughs said about the fourth inning. “When we believe in ourselves we can win. When we believe in what we’re doing, we can win.”

The Redhawks showed they could get out of a jam beginning with another pitching change.

Zane Bedmaev came on in relief of Barton and put the fire out. Bedmaev struck out Collins, and got Mattocks to pop out to retire the side.

Westwood jumped to a 1-0 lead when Rashawn Green singled in lead-off man Deuntrey Gallman with one out. Green was tagged out taking second though, and after Heatley walked, Gavin Burroughs bounced out to retire the side.

The Redhawks got two runs in the third inning to take a 3-0 lead.

Oxendine walked and Gallman singled to start the inning. After T.J. White struck out, Green drove in Oxendine on a sacrifice fly to right field. Heatley then drove in Gallman with a double into right centerfield.

Gavin Burroughs grounded out to end the third, but Westwood picked up two more runs in similar fashion in the top of the fourth.

With one out and with Barton on base with a walk, Kareem Wilson singled to put runners at first and third for Oxendine. Oxendine delivered a double into left that scored both runners and secured a comfortable lead.

That advantage didn’t last long, but the Redhawks secured the game-winning runs in the top of the sixth.

With one out, Wilson legged out an infield hit. Wilson moved to third on Oxendine’s infield smash. Everyone was safe when Harrell, the second basemen, committed both a fielding and throwing error.

Gallman then came through with a single up the middle that scored both baserunners for a 7-5 lead.

Bedmaev worked a scoreless sixth, then T.J. White came on to start the seventh and seal the win.

The Redhawks play host to Newberry in the tournament Tuesday at 11:30.

Westwood 102 202 0 – 7 9 2

Dreher 001 310 0 – 5 5 3

W: Lamar Gregory, Ethan Barton (4), Zane Bedmaev (5, W), T.J. White (7), and Elijah Heatley. D: Matt Campbell, Ethan Mattocks (4, L), . 2B – W: Heatley, Matthew Oxendine. D: Matt Tindall. LOB – W 5, D 7.