WHITE HALL — Kirk Baugh and Daniel Sprinkle provided the early fireworks for Smart Dodge Rams on Tuesday, but it took the rest of the team coming together for the Rams to beat Sheridan 8-5.
Baugh and Sprinkle hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning for a 2-0 lead before Sheridan (13-8) took a 3-2 lead in the third inning.
The Rams (7-1) were able to take the lead right back in the bottom half of the inning with two runs and did not give up the lead after that.
“We just got everything under control and played well as a team,” Baugh said. “It was really a team effort. We did it together and it wasn’t one person.”
After Baugh’s and Sprinkle’s home runs, the Rams’ lead only lasted one inning as Sheridan took advantage of two errors and pounded out three runs on three hits in the third inning to take a 3-2 lead. Lathan Wylie drove in one of the runs and later scored on an error to tie the game. Later in the third, Joe Eggburn drove in the go-ahead run.
“Normally we are known for our good defense and we haven’t given up that many errors in a ball game yet,” Sparks said. “We started Turner (Sparks) for the first time, and he had a good outing, just had a few errors behind him.”
Sheridan could have added to its lead, but left two runners on base, which was a constant theme of the game. The Yellowjackets left nine batters on base in the game, including three in the sixth and two in the seventh.
“We were a few timely hits from pulling even or taking the lead,” Sheridan coach Stan Mosley said. “We were a few hits away from making a better game out of it. That’s just the way it was all night.”
In the bottom half of the inning, with runners on second and third and one out, Sheridan walked Sprinkle to load the bases. B.J. Pullman followed with a grounder to short, but Wylie was unable to turn the double play quick enough, allowing Archer to score.
“That was huge and B.J. made a good at-bat right there,” Sparks said. “We wanted to put it in play and anything on the ground, we would score a run.”
Even though the intentional walk to Sprinkle did not pay off, Mosley said it was the right decision.
“It’s good baseball and we played the averages, and it came back to bite us,” he said. “Just didn’t get the relay quick enough. Everything happened how we wanted it to, just didn’t get the outcome.”
Pullman then got in a rundown while stealing second, allowing Freeman to score to score from third to give Smart Dodge a 4-3 lead.
Sprinkle came on to pitch the final four innings of the game and set down the first six batters he faced. The Rams added three more runs during that span and another in the sixth.
Sheridan did add a run in the sixth and seventh inning, but that was it.