On Saturday night, the Kingsmen traveled to Albemarle for their first matchup of the summer against the Uwharrie Wampus Cats. It was a muggy, 85 degree Saturday night––perfect conditions for the Kingsmen to continue the power surge they saw Friday night in Winston-Salem. In the early going, the Kingsmen didn’t need to do much swinging to get some runs across the plate.
In the second inning, five of the first six Kingsmen hitters reached without putting the ball in play, enabling the team to take a 1-0 lead. Two more runs would score on an error committed by the Wampus Cats’ second baseman before the Kingsmens’ half inning would end.
The Wampus Cats would get a run back after Kingsmen starting pitcher Michael Gracer allowed a solo home run to dead center field by BJ Williams. It would be the only run for the Wampus Cats in the inning. The teams would enter the third with the Kingsmen leading 3-1.
The top of the third began like the top of the second with the Kingsmen getting the first two on without putting the ball in play. However, the bats woke up in this inning as the Kingsmen were able to add four more runs on a two-run single from Colin Patterson and a two-run double from Matthew Gross. One more run would score in the fourth after Mikah Conner single home Blake Bevis following his two-out double.
Gracer would run into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the fourth, allowing two hits and one run to cross on an error and fielder’s choice. With his pitch count climbing, it would be the final inning for the Kingsmen starter. The righty would exit the game with an 8-2 lead after striking out five and scattering five hits over his four innings of work.
Ryan Fluharty would relieve Gracer to begin the fifth and immediately had trouble with his command, walking the first three batters he faced. However, a strikeout and 5-4-3 double play would help the rising freshman at USC-Upstate escape the inning unscathed.
In the top of the sixth, designated hitter Blake Bevis launched an opposite field home run to right to make it a 9-2 ballgame. It was Bevis’ fourth extra base hit and third home run in the last two games.
As if his offensive production wasn’t enough, Bevis would enter the game on the mound in the bottom of the seventh. The two-way player from Ball State would finish off the game with three scoreless innings where he allowed just one hit and one walk and struck out three. The Kingsmen would win the first of three matchups against the Wampus Cats, 9-2.
The Kingsmen will return to action on Tuesday as the team will travel to Charlotte to play the Queen City Corndogs. Stay tuned for more Kingsmen Baseball news and updates as the summer season continues.
Blake Bevis Postgame Interview:
Coach Joe Hudak Postgame Interview: