MT. VERNON – Rome and Summersville met Wednesday on the baseball diamond. It was the first game of the 2017 season for both squads with the Hornets winning, 18-0, in five innings.
“We got off to a good start,” said Rome coach Tim Holloway. “We had a lot of guys have good at-bats. Their pitcher was in the zone early on for a while and we put some good swings on it. It was a nice start.”
Brock Holloway threw a complete game (five innings) no hitter. He allowed only two base runners – one on an error and the other on a walk. He also struck out 12 of the 17 batters he faced.
“I always look at the youth baseball as a developmental time,” said Holloway. “We had some bigger bodies today compared to Summersville. At the junior high age group that makes a difference. Some days there’s going to be teams bigger than us and stronger than us.
“We need to be developing fundamentals. We need to play with good energy. We need to throw strikes, which we did today, and we need to continue to improve. I saw guys backing up bases. I saw guys reading pitches in the dirt and doing a lot of little things we’ve been trying to work on in practice.”
Rome wasted no time getting on the scoreboard with five runs in the top of the first. The Hornets then added three in the second and two runs in the third and fourth.
Finally, in the fifth, Rome scored six times including an inside the park grand slam home run from Caden Tinsley.
“Seeing them barrel some balls up was neat to get their confidence going,” said Holloway. “There’s going to be some tough games throughout the year, but it’s not bad for those guys who haven’t played much to have a good day and have some confidence.”
Hollway was also able to get everyone available into the game.
“It’s nice to be able to get 19-20 guys in like we did,” said Holloway. “That’s not going to happen all the time. For the first game, their spirits are high. It was a fun game for them.”
Grafton Howell tossed 3 ⅔ innings for Summersville. He was an out away from getting out of the fourth innings, but an error kept Rome alive. Howell was then removed after reaching 90 pitches in the game.
“They got the new rules, so you’re stuck with a certain pitch limit,” said Summersville coach Cody Hiller. “He hit the 90 pitch mark when we had that error, which opened up the inning. He threw a lot of strikes. We had several games last year where we walked everybody and it just killed us.
“We have 16 kids out, which is more than we’ve had a couple years, so we’re excited about our numbers. We don’t have a lot of experience. We’re just trying to get these kids out here and get their feet wet.”