Washington falls to Conley|Thomas homers in loss

Published 1:53 am Tuesday, June 29, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
After winning two out of its last four games the Washington Two Senior Babe Ruth team seemed poised to pick up its third win of the season on Monday, but some hot hitting by the D.H. Conley Hastings Ford team proved to be too much to overcome in Washington’s 12-5 loss.
Washington (2-8) fell behind in the first inning when starter Nick Lietz struggled early, walking four out of the first six batters he faced before being pulled in favor of Ryan Hardison.
Hardison entered the game down 1-0 with the bases loaded, and managed to escape the jam letting up only one.
Hardison looked sharp at times during his three innings of work, as did fellow pitchers Matt Carrow and Zac Midgette.
After a scoreless second, Washington pounced on Hastings Ford (7-4) pitcher Brock Rouse, rushing the rising junior for five runs.
One batter after leadoff hitter Caleb Sherman drew the second of his three walks, Brandon Thomas smashed a two-run home run that traveled well behind the 360-foot mark in left-center field.
“Brandon hit the ball well,” Washington coach Troy Woolard said. “A lot of times we try to get him to hit the ball level and to the gaps, but he definitely has the power to hit shots like that. It depends on what the team needs at the time.”
After the next two batters reached base, Lietz drove in Washington’s third run of the game with an RBI double.
Washington took a 4-2 lead when Josh Miller stole home on a wild pitch, and scored its fifth run of the inning when Avery Woolard singled in Lietz.
Woolard said that his team’s increase in offense has been crucial in its two victories.
“We have been hitting the ball pretty good lately,” Woolard said. “We hit the ball real well against Ayden-Grifton which is a top-half of the league team. … The night we beat Greenville Roofing, which is an excellent team, we hit the ball all night. We were hoping it would carry over tonight, and it did for the first few innings, but after that we just kind of got quiet.”
While Washington stung the ball in the third, it would be the only inning Rouse would let up any runs. The junior threw all seven innings, scattering seven hits, while striking out seven and walking four.
Rouse seemed to pick up steam throughout the game as he allowed six hits in the first three innings, but only over the last four.
After holding a 5-2 lead, Washington let up one run in the third, five in the fourth, three in the fifth and one in the sixth.
Woolard said that despite the loss, he has been seeing improvement.
“I definitely see progress,” Woolard said. “We may not being seeing it in all seven innings, but we are seeing it in three or four innings here or there.”
Washington Two will be back in action today when it battles Washington One.