Morrison's Grand Slam Propels Redlegs in Nightcap


After two longtime pitching staples toed the rubber for the Redlegs in game one, the nightcap saw three rookie pitchers make their MVABL debuts. First up was Zhelun Wang who was claimed from waivers by the Redlegs earlier this year. Wang has electric stuff and is working his way back into the fold after taking a few years off from playing semi-professional baseball in China.

The Knights took the lead in the bottom of the first but the Redlegs tied things up in the top of the 2nd when James Robinson drove Mike Hartman in with an RBI single (Hartman was running for Joey Watson who had doubled earlier in the inning).

The Knights answered right back in the 2nd, using 3 walks, a double and a sacrifice fly to score 3 more times in the second. They scored again in the third to make it a 5-1 game.

In the top of the 4th the Redlegs chipped away at the lead. Joey Watson started the inning with a single. Brandon Howard moved the runner around to third with a single before James Robinson knocked him in with a groundball out to the right side of the infield to cut the lead to 5-2.

Luke Campbell, a former first team all SWBL pitcher for Madison High School, entered the game for the Redlegs in the bottom of the fourth and made a fancy defensive play right out of the gate. Thomas Hughes hit a hard comebacker to the mound and Campbell snared it with his bare hand and made the easy throw to first for the first out. Jerel Bristol then knocked his first home run of the 2018 season over the left field fence before Campbell cruised through the remainder of the inning.

The game changed in the 5th when the Redlegs put up a nine spot to take a commanding 11-6 lead. Matt Morrison started the rally with a walk, Matt Redman singled, and Matt Mattice drove in Morrison with a base hit. Later, Mike Hartman drove both runners in with a one out single. Joey Watson then walked before Nick Davis recorded his first hit of the season with a two run double that he snuck just inside the third base bag. Brandon Howard then walked and later Ryan Gross walked to load up the bases. Matt Morrison then strolled back to the plate for his second at bat of the inning and proceeded to break the game wide open with his first career home run, a grand slam that sailed over the left field fence and put the Redlegs up 11-6.

The Knights tried to scratch their way back into it by putting some runners on in the bottom of the 5th via a Redleg error and a couple of walks. Garrett Copas then delivered a 2-run single to cut the lead back to 11-8. Luke then struck the next two batters out to end the threat.

Joey Watson provided some insurance in the top of the 6th with a 2 run single driving in Matt Mattice who had walked and Kyle Arend who singled earlier in the frame.

Luke then tossed a scoreless 6th with the help of a nice 6-4-3 double play between Matt Morrison and Nick Davis in the middle infield.

Randy Davis then came on for the Redlegs to finish things off in the seventh. Davis, also a Madison grad, was a former first team all SWBL and second team all-area in 2014. Randy struck out the first batter he faced, and then was the beneficiary of a nice diving catch by Matt Mattice in right field near foul territory for the second out of the inning. A walk and a single gave the Knights some life, but Davis was able to induce a grounder to shortstop to end the game and seal the opening day double-header sweep.


M Redman31101
M Mattice31211
K Arend41200
M Hartman41320
J Watson33021
N Davis41120
B Howard11102
J Robinson41020
J Gross20102
M Morrison21242
A Parks20000
J Bradley10000

2B: Watson; Davis
HR: Morrison

Z Wang 345535
L Campbell (W)333232
R Davis 110011