Following a three day break for the Fourth of July, the Kingsmen were back in action on Tuesday night as they welcomed the Uwharrie Wampus Cats to York Comprehensive High School. It was the teams’ second meeting of the summer with the Kingsmen taking the first game by a score of 9-2 behind Blake Bevis’ 2-4 day that included a home run. It would not take long for the Kingsmen designated hitter to go deep again.
Bevis led off the bottom of the second inning with a blast to left that gave the Kingsmen an early 1-0 lead. It was his fourth of the summer after hammering 11 during his freshman season at Ball State. It would be the Kingsmen’s lone run in the first four innings, but with the way Caleb Cox was pitching, one run looked to be enough.
After working around two walks in the first inning, the Kingsmen starting pitcher struck out the side in the second. The Wampus Cats threatened in the third after two one-out singles, but the lefty would escape the inning without any hurt. After pitching a perfect fourth inning, though, Cox would run into more trouble in the fifth.
After striking out the first batter, Cox hit the next batter with a pitch but was able to induce a fielder’s choice to pick up the second out of the inning. A couple of stolen bases and another walk would put the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position for the Wampus Cats’ number two hitter. Under pressure, Cox delivered his 10th strikeout of the game to end the threat and hold the Kignsmen’s 1-0 lead.
With Cox dealing, the Kingsmen offense were unable to provide insurance in the fifth as the bats fell quiet for the second straight game. Cox began the sixth with 85 pitches and picked up his 11th punch before exiting the game with men on first and second and two away.
Justin Stewart entered in relief and was welcomed with a hard line drive to right. Off the bat, the ball was sure to tie the game and potentially give the Wampus Cats the lead. Darrien Whitaker, though, made an outstanding leaping grab––sticking his glove up at the second––to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, second baseman Ryan Fluharty picked up the Kingsmen’s second hit of the game and advanced all the way to third on several wild pitches. However, he would fail to score as the Kingsmen carried their one run lead into the seventh.
Stewart remained in the game and quickly retired the first two batters he faced, but walked the next two to put the tying run in scoring position. Despite the traffic, Stewart struck out the Wampus Cats number three hitter to end the game.
With the win, the Kingsmen moved to 9-5 this summer and 2-0 against Uwharrie. Tomorrow, the Kingsmen will welcome back the Catawba Valley Stars for a double header beginning at 5:00 pm at York Comprehensive High School.
Stay tuned for more Kingsmen Baseball news and updates.
Caleb Cox Postgame Interview:
Coach Joe Hudak Postgame Interview: