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Redmen notch pair of conference wins over Dragons

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

PEDRO — It was like riding a bike for Landon Smith. He hadn’t forgot how to pitch.
After a long layoff due to the weather, Smith went back to the mound on Friday and pitched a five-inning two-hitter in the first game as the Rock Hill Redmen swept the Fairland Dragons 11-1 and 12-1 in Ohio Valley Conference games.
Smith struck out six and did not walk a batter in his outing.
“(Smith) hasn’t been on the mound in two weeks, but he threw the ball well. He had a little trouble right at first, but then he settled in and pitched well,” said Rock Hill coach Barry Litteral.
“We hit the ball well and we were able to take advantage of their mistakes.”
Rock Hill (6-0, 4-0) wasted no time taking charge with a seven-run first inning.
Jake Blagg singled, stole second, took third on a ground out. Lewis was hit by a pitch and stole second, Kaleb Kidd reached on an error for a run and Logan Hankins singled for a run.
Kaden France was safe on an error for a run and then Jaret Bacorn, Smith, Brayden Friend and Blagg all followed with RBI singles.
Fairland got its run in the top of the fourth when Eli Bowen singled, stole second, took third on a ground out and came home on Dacoda Chapman’s fielder’s choice.
Rock Hill got two runs in the bottom of the inning.
France was safe on an error and moved up on a ground out. Friend had an RBI single and Blagg tripled to scored Friend.
Rock Hill ended the game with two runs in the fifth.
Lewis reached on an error, Kidd singled and both moved up on an outfield error. Hankins singled to score both Lewis and courtesy runner Jordan Griffith.
Blagg went 3-for-4 with a triple while Friend was 2-3 and Hankins 2-4.
In the second game, Rock Hill capitalize on 11 walks to go with nine hits as they again won in five innings.
Nick Blankenship went 4.1 innings for the win. He gave up two hits, struck out three and walked three.
Bacorn struck out the final two batters.
“I was pleased with how patient, we got timely hits and took advantage of the walks,” said Litteral. “Nick threw the ball well and we played good defense behind him.”
The Redmen went in front 3-0 in the first inning.
Blagg singled, stole second and Seth Nichols had an RBI single. An error sent Nichols to second and Lewis had an RBI single. Another error sent Lewis to third and Hankins hit a sacrifice fly.
The lead went to 5-0 in the second.
Friend walked and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Blagg, Nichols, Lewis and Kidd all walked to force in a run and Hankins was hit by a pitch to force in the second run.
Rock Hill scored four in the third inning.
Bacorn walked, Smith singled, Nichols walked to load the bases, Lewis was safe on an error as two runs scored, Kidd walked and Hankins had a two-run single.
Fairland got its only run in the third when Tayton Hunt was hit by a pitch, Jace Vonville walked and Bowen had an RBI single.
The Redmen added two runs in the fourth to lead 11-1.
Bacorn walked, Friend and Blagg singled for a run and Lewis doubled home Friend.
The final run scored in the fifth when Hankins singled and France, Smith and Kyle Stanfield all walked.
Blagg finished 2-3, Hankins 2-2 and Lewis 2-4 as Rock Hill had nine hits.
On Monday, Rock Hill is at Gallipolis and Fairland hosts South Point.
First Game
Fairland    000    10    =    1    2    6
Rock Hill    700    22    =    11    11    1
Reilly Sowards, Gavin Hunt (4) and Eli Bowen. Landon Smith and Kaleb Kidd. W-Smith (K-6, BB-0, HBP-2). L-Sowards. Hitting-FHS: Eli Bowen 1-1, Dairus Stapleton 1-1; RH: Jake Blagg 3-4 3B, Cody Lewis 1-3, Kaleb Kidd 1-2, Logan Hankins 2-4, Jaret Bacorn 1-3, Landon Smith 1-3 2B, Brayden Friend 2-3.
Second Game
Rock Hill    324    21    =    12    9    1
Fairland    001    00    =    1    2    3
Nick Blankenship (4.1), Jaret Bacorn (5) and Kaleb Kidd. Tayton Hunt, Dacoda Chapman (3) and Eli Bowen. W-Blankenship (IP-4.1, H-2 K-3, BB-3, ER-1). Bacorn (IP-0.2, K-2). L-Hunt. Hitting-RH: Jake Blagg 2-3, Seth Nichols 1-2, Cody Lewis 2-4 2B, Logan Hankins 2-2, Landon Smith 1-3, Brayden Friend 1-3; FHS: Eli Bowen 1-2, Dairus Stapleton 1-3.