Caleb Marmo blasted a three-run home run over the left field wall in the bottom of the second in his first varsity game with the Hilltoppers already up 2-0. He finished 2-for-3 along with a single, walk and three runs scored.
“I made an adjustment from the first at-bat and stayed back on it a little bit more,” Marmo said. “It was a good feeling and it was cool to see all the fans clapping. It was a good atmosphere.”
Drew Honeycutt picked up the win for the ’Toppers, pitching four solid innings and striking out six. However, it was Garrett Gleason that came on in relief who impressed as he struck out seven and allowed just one hit.
“We’re new for sure. We’ve got a lot of good pieces, though. It’s going to take us a while to come together,” Science Hill head coach Ryan Edwards said. “(Garrett) moved the fastball around and was able to throw it on both sides of the plate. It’s like having an extra pitch when you can do that and I was very proud of the way he threw the baseball.”
For the Falcons, Peyton Derrick and Caleb Trent scored the runs. Eli Dixon, Jessi Rollins and Trent recorded the hits for Volunteer, which were all singles.
Even though the Falcons were on the losing end, it had been quite some time since the ’Toppers had not won a contest with Volunteer in five innings via the “run rule.”
“Our kids played hard and we’re really young. I think we started one senior tonight and wound up with two on the field,” Volunteer head coach Mike Castle said. “You never want to say it’s a moral victory, but this has to be a positive thing for us.”
Derrick made an appearance on the mound for the Falcons and changed the pace of the game completely after taking over for Eli Dixon. With his looping curveball that worked the inside of the plate to right-handed hitters, he caused some frustration for Science Hill. He allowed five hits, but only one earned run and threw six first pitch strikes to the 13 batters he faced.
“We talked about it this week that if we could get through 12 batters or so that we could bring Peyton in and change the pace of the game,” Castle said. “It’s more of a change up-curveball type pitch. It looks more a 12-6 pitch you see in softball.”
Landon Slemp was also good for Science Hill both at the plate and in the field, making a nice diving stop behind second base in the third. He went 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of doubles and drove in three runs.
The Hilltoppers will travel to Volunteer on Tuesday with the first pitch at 5 p.m. The start time was moved up from an original 6 p.m. first pitch.