Knights win opener over Greenbrier East
ONA — Cabell Midland kicked off its 2019 baseball season at home Friday in style with a 10-3 win over Greenbrier East.
While the run total suggested the Knights (1-0) had a big offensive output, it managed just seven hits, including only one extra-base hit.
Greenbrier East (0-1) committed four errors that gave Cabell Midland the base runners needed to push runs across the plate with singles, sacrifice bunts and passed balls.
Cabell Midland hit the ground running with four runs in the first inning on singles by Griffin Adkins, Easton Pettit and Dawson Bryan, along with walks to Blake Tilley and Drew Elkins.
An error in the second inning allowed the Knights to load the bases and set up Adkins to score from third base on a passed ball that gave Cabell Midland a 5-0 lead.
Greenbrier East followed that up with errors in the third, fourth and fifth innings that the Knights used to shore up its lead.
Adkins scored three runs while going 2-for-4 at the plate and stole a base. Chad Heiner, Petitt, Tilley, Elkins and Bret Armbruster each had an RBI for the Knights. Ellis finished 2-for-3 with a run scored.
On the mound, Heiner started the game facing 10 batters in two innings while allowing one hit, one walk and striking out four.
“It was the first game of the year so they didn’t want me to throw too much,” Heiner said. “Plus I just needed to get reps in.”
Heiner’s four strikeouts tied him for the lead on the Knights’ pitching staff. The senior Marshall signee said his cut fastball, curve ball and fastball were working for him but with Friday’s cold weather he was told to lay off of his changeup.
Jason Perdue earned the win, pitching three innings in relief of Heiner, also striking out four before running into trouble in the fifth inning.
Leading 7-0, Perdue allowed a runner on a fielders’ choice to Colby Piner who moved to second on a passed ball then went to third on a double steal. Piner scored on a fielders’ choice that moved Will Roark to third. Roark scored on Cabell Midland’s lone error.
Perdue was replaced in the sixth by Nic Kuhn, who allowed one run to score. Drew Elkins pitched a perfect seventh inning to end the game.
Cabell Midland never panicked despite Greenbrier East rallying in the late innings. The Knights matched each of the Spartans runs with three runs of their own, including one in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Ellis hit a one-out triple to left-center field and then scored on a single by Armbruster to set the score.
Cabell Midland’s win came despite a key offensive piece out of the lineup. Returning starter Peyton Weekly out of the lineup due to a sore hamstring.
Weekly was in uniform and listed on head coach Tracy Brumfield’s roster but did not see action against Greenbrier East.
“I just got to get cleared,” the utility infielder and reserve catcher said. “I just want to be 100 percent, you know?”
Cabell Midland will next play on Monday at Ashland, with the first pitch scheduled for 5:30.