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'Toppers beat Falcons behind Slemp, big sixth

Tanner Cook • Mar 12, 2019 at 11:29 PM

CHURCH HILL — A commanding pitching performance and a big sixth inning powered the Science Hill baseball team to a road win on Tuesday, a 9-1 decision over Volunteer.

Hilltoppers starting pitcher Landon Slemp picked up the win after striking out eight hitters and walking just one. He was incredibly efficient, throwing strikes on 48 of his 66 pitches. Of the 19 batters he faced, Slemp greeted 12 with first-pitch strikes.

“He really got after it as far as commanding his stuff,” Science Hill coach Ryan Edwards said. “Not only that, but he pitched well on both sides of the plate, went up and down with his fastball and commanded his breaking ball really well. I couldn’t be any happier with his performance.”

The ’Toppers (2-0, 2-0 Big 7 Conference) grabbed a 1-0 lead early in the second inning when Slemp scored on a sacrifice fly by Gehrig Carich. Volunteer (0-2, 0-2) answered in the bottom half when Bobby Montgomery singled home Aaron Wills.

Science Hill, leading 4-1 after five innings, exploded for five runs in the top of the sixth.

The onslaught began when Montgomery, Volunteer’s second baseman, let a ball slip through his wickets. Two runs scored on the play while Josh Wooten went to first. Slemp then stepped up for a double down the line that plated two more runs following a walk that had brought home another.

Slemp finished 3-for-4 with four RBIs. Alex Elmore and Cade McCoy each went 2-for-3 for Science Hill.

Peyton Derrick, Wills, Caleb Trent, Caleb Spears and Montgomery got all the hits — each one a single, for the Falcons — who played outstanding defense in the outfield.

“I’m going to give them a lot of credit. They ran down a lot of hard-hit balls in the outfield,” said Edwards, whose team opened the season Monday with a 9-2 victory over Volunteer. “We hit the ball hard all game and their outfield played outstanding. They made a couple of nice plays in the infield early and gave themselves a situation where they were right there on our heels because of their defense.”

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