Patriots score early in win over rival Hooper

Published 3:00 am Friday, April 8, 2016

A four-run first inning helped the Patriots beat rival Hooper 7-3 on Thursday.

Coming off a disappointing sweep at the hands of Monroe on Tuesday night, head coach Allen Ponder was happy to see his players bounce back and play a sound game against the Colts.

“It was good for us to bounce back,” Ponder said. “We played a good baseball game. We have to play relaxed baseball just like we play in games like today… today was a breath of fresh air after Tuesday.”

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Tyler Floyd started the game for the Patriots. Floyd pitched seven innings giving up three runs on five hits.

“He pitched really well for us today,” Ponder said. “In the first inning he struggled up in the zone just a touch. We talked about it and he didn’t struggle after that.”

The Patriots finished the game with seven hits on the night. Hayes Lee, Hunter Jones, Reed Jinright, Wood Jinright, Murphy Renfroe and Tyler Hussey all picked up hits for the Patriots with Reed Jinright leading the way with two hits.

“We have been preaching putting the ball in play and putting pressure on the defense,” Ponder said. “We did a much better job at that today. We didn’t make the same mental mistakes that got us beat on Tuesday.”

Lee, Jones and Reed Jinright all reached base to begin the first inning. Adam Grice scored Jones on sacrifice bunt to the third baseman to give the Patriots a 1-0 lead. Wood Jinright came up next and drove in his brother Reed on a single to right field to give the Patriots a 2-0 lead over the Colts. After Renfroe was hit by a pitch, Hussey doubled to left field that drove in both Wood Jinright and Renfroe to give the Patriots a comfortable 4-0 lead.

The Colts came back in the bottom half of the first inning and cut the Patriots lead in half at 4-2. The Patriots got one of them back in the top of the second when Hayes Lee scored when a balk was called on the Colts pitcher.

The Colts handed the Patriots two more gift-wrapped runs in the fourth inning when Bailey Renfroe scored on another balk call and Reed Jinright scored on a passed ball.

The Patriots will host Emmanuel Christian for senior night on Monday at 3:30 p.m.