SPRING VALLEY — Hall Red Devil baseball made a statement in Tri-County Conference play Monday evening defeating Putnam County 7-4 at Kirby Park.
PC did manage to rally in the end, but it was not enough to overcome the seven-run advantage built with two home runs and three RBIs off the bat of starting pitcher Brett Fanning.
“He showed up,” Hall coach Tom Keegan said of his senior ace, Fanning, who struck out eight batters in six innings. “That’s his last crack at Putnam County. He’s played them a couple of times in basketball with the ball there in his hands at the end and they didn’t win the game. Hopefully, this makes up for some of that a little bit because he was clutch for us.”
Hall improved to 4-0 in the Tri-County Conference and 13-4 overall.
In the first inning, PC (14-8, 3-1) did manage to get two base runners off a walk of outfielder Jack Egan and a hit from short stop Xavier Warren. But, the runners were stranded.
In the bottom of the first, Hall leadoff man Taggert Venegas was hit by a pitch, and two batters later Fanning hit a home run to send them both across the plate.
“Brett got us off to a good start there, we needed that … just maybe a little breath of fresh air,” Keegan said. “But, the good thing for us is that we were able to withstand some innings. In the fourth inning we were able to extend (the lead) … as it turns out we needed all of the them. We knew they were never going stop fighting. They are too good of a team and we respect them. They weren’t going to make it easy, that’s for sure.”
PC stranded two again in the top of the fourth inning, but Hall came in and exploded in the bottom. Second basemen Zach Urbanski led off with a double. Matt Boucher advanced the runner to third with a sacrifice bunt and then first baseman Trevor Urbanski hit a sacrifice fly to score the runner.
It was 3-0 Hall when Venegas and third basemen Danny Nolasco singled back-to-back. Hitting after Nolasco was Fanning who cranked another one out of the park to put the lead at six.
Hall catcher Blake Moreno added another single and eventually made it home in on a Miguel Villareal RBI. That is when PC’s Harold Fay was relieved by Ballerini. PC got out of the inning shortly after.
The score stayed same until the top of the seventh inning when Fanning was relieved by Austin Schmitt. PC managed to get four singles and their first run before clean-up hitter Austin Pletsch hit a three-run double to put them within three runs. Schmitt retired Justin Pettit on a groundout to end the rally.