Bobcats swipe 12 bases in victory over Vina
Mike Self, Franklin County Times
VINA – Phil Campbell's bats may not be in midseason form yet, but their legs are working just fine.
The Bobcats stole 12 bases on Thursday afternoon and got a solid pitching performance from Adam Mitchell, rolling to a 15-2 win over Vina.
Phil Campbell (2-0) wasted no time in cranking up the running game, swiping five bases in the top of the first inning to take a 3-0 lead.
"Their catcher actually has a pretty good arm, but we were able to get some good jumps," Bobcat coach Micheal Beck said. "We just wanted to use our speed to try and generate some offense, because we haven't been hitting the ball really well so far. We hit it better today, but we're still not hitting it like I want us to."
The Bobcats banged out 11 hits on the day and broke the game open with eight runs in the top of the fourth.
Junior shortstop Jonathan Dill went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and five RBIs, and Mitchell was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored.
Chase White and Steven Lacey each added two hits, and Korey Pounders stole three bases and scored twice. Dill, Mitchell and Dylan Hamby each had two stolen bases.
"It's not everyday that you score 15 runs," Beck said. "Vina's a good baseball team, and they're extremely well-coached. Their pitcher today [Kyle Green] was throwing the ball as well as anybody we've faced. We just kind of got on a roll and started having some fun."
The fun started early for Phil Campbell. Lacey and Mitchell led off the game with back-to-back hits, and they each stole a base to put runners at second and third. Dill followed with a two-run single and then stole two bases before scoring on a throwing error to make it 3-0.
Vina (2-3) answered with a run in the bottom of the first when Randy Barnes walked and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Green.
The Bobcats' lead was 5-2 in the top of the third when White ripped a double down the third base line and then scored on a single by Pounders. Pounders then stole second and third before coming home on a groundout by Jordan Benford to make it 7-2.
The floodgates opened in the top of the fourth. Dill doubled home a run and then scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 9-2. Two more runs came across on a wild pitch and an error, and Lacey's RBI infield single made it 12-2.
Mitchell singled home a run to make it 13-2, and Dill capped off the inning by crushing a two-run double to the fence in left-center.
That was more than enough support for Mitchell, who allowed just three hits and one earned run in four innings of work. He struck out four and walked two.
"This was Adam's first start of the year, and I thought he pitched pretty well," Beck said. "He had kind of a rocky first two innings, but we made a couple of errors behind him. After that he settled down and started hitting his spots. He got his curveball over and floated his changeup up there pretty good."
Vina stranded two runners in the bottom of the first inning, and Mitchell escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second inning by getting a key strikeout.
Hamby relieved Mitchell after four innings and pitched a hitless fifth.
Max Weeks, Brent Townsend and Paul Wilkins each had one hit for Vina. Green took the loss, and Wilkins struck out three in 1 1/3 innings of relief.
Both teams will return to action Saturday with Phil Cambpell hosting Haleyville and Vina traveling to face Decatur Heritage.