By Kris Freeman, Sports Information Director
WHITE HOUSE – After a bizarre inning full of big hits and miscues put the White House Blue Devils back in front Tuesday night in the District 9-AA opener, Greenbrier answered with seven runs to close a 12-6 victory.
The Bobcats (1-0, 1-0) scored six runs in the top of the sixth and added another in the seventh to put away a pesky White House team that scored five in the bottom of the fifth.
Chance Merithew struck the big blow in the sixth – and essentially for the whole night – with a three-run triple to break the tie following a bases-loaded walk to Luke Jones, making it 9-6. Merithew was 3-for-4 with seven RBI, a sac-fly, and a home run short of the cycle. He had a two-run double in the third.
Neither starter earned a decision. Senior Michael Frye pitched 4 2/3 for the Blue Devils, giving up five runs on 11 hits with five strikeouts and a pair of walks. Frye allowed one run in the first on a sac fly after two hits, and then started the third with back to back singles and then a double by Merithew and single by Casey Woodall. Luke Jones led off with a hit in the fifth and scored on a ground out to third by Tristen Merithew.
Joey Soporowski struck out Hunter Thaxton to get out of a jam in the fifth in relief, he ran into his own trouble in the sixth and took the loss.
Soporowski (0-1) officially pitched a third of an inning, striking out one but allowing two walks, a hit by pitch, and the three-run triple. But breaks weren’t on his side, as the sixth inning started with back-to-back infield errors to lead to an 11-6 lead. Casey Woodall and Trey Semore had RBI singles, but Woodall was thrown out at the plate on an 8-2 fly ball double play when Blaine Mitchell pegged him at home for the third out.
Will Harper and Aaron Worrell both pitched an inning in relief for White House.
Micah Escue was 3-5 with three runs scored and reached on an error, Stoney Smith had two hits and three runs scored, and Woodall was 3-5 with two RBI and Semore was 2-3 with a walk.
Greenbrier had at least two base runners in all seven innings.
Greenbrier starter Semore also pitched 4 2/3, but the fifth inning was the big one for White House. After Miles Suiter singled home Logan Neufeld in the first, White House bats were quiet until the rally.
Sam Abshire walked and was put down on a fielder’s choice, allowing Neufeld to reach, then Cole Pond reached on a fielding error on the throw to first and Aaron Worrell blasted a two-run triple to make it 5-3 in the fifth with no out.
Avery O’Bryan walked and Suiter doubled off the left-field wall to score another run. Josh Strother was hit by a pitch and then Will Harper beat out a double play for an RBI on the fielder’s choice to tie the game.
With Jacob Holland on third, running for Suiter, Greenbrier catcher Jones tried to pick him off after a pitch and threw the ball wide of third down the left field line to give White House a 6-5 lead on the error.
Noah Griffin got out of the jam and all the runs were credited to Semore. He allowed six runs on six hits with five strikeouts, two walks and two hit by pitch.
Griffin pitched 2 1/3 for the win, allowing no runs on three hits.
Cole Pond reached three times and had two hits for White House, O’Bryan had two hits and walked one. Suiter also reached three times, with a single and two RBI and a fielder’s choice.
The two teams will meet at Greenbrier on Wednesday.