Three runs in the fifth inning broke a 2-2 tie and started the Legion season off on the right foot for the Owens Wealth Advisors Junior Reds on Monday at home.
The Reds defeated Crofton 5-2 thanks to a two-run double by Krae Lavicky and an RBI groundout for an insurance run in the next at bat by Logan Salak. On the mound, Landon Ternus and Turner Halvorsen combined to allow just two hits, six walks and strike out 11.
The Reds' lineup put together seven hits, two doubles and two walks. Coach Mike Sloup would have liked to have seen better timely hitting, but he expects that to come along throughout the summer.
"It was a good win over a quality team. This was the first time most of our team got to work together, so we need to continue to build our communication and string our offense together," Sloup said. "We left too many runners on in scoring position, but that is something that will continue to improve as we move through the season."
Both teams brought their leadoff man around to score in the first inning. A walk then three stolen bases by Crofton leadoff hitter Colin Wieseler scored the first run of the game. The Reds tied it when Halvorsen reached on an error, stole second and scored on Brendon Sloup's grounder to right field.
Salak led off the fourth with a single and scored two hitters later on a passed ball. Back-to-back walks then a single let Crofton level it 2-2 in the top of the fifth. The first four Reds' hitters reached in the bottom half, and three scored to seize the lead for good.
Sloup walked, Ternus doubled then Lavicky sent a line drive up the middle and broke the tie. Salak hit a grounder to short with Lavicky at third and brought him in on a ground out.
Crofton only had one more hitter reach over the final two innings. An error at first with two down put a runner at second in the sixth. Halvorsen ended the inning on a grounder to third then set the visitors down in order in the seventh on a pop up, strikeout and dribbler to the mound.
Ternus started and went three innings with no hits, an earned run, four walks and seven strikeouts. Halvorsen threw the final four innings with two hits, an earned run, two free passes and four Ks.
"Our pitching was pretty good between Ternus and Halvorsen," Sloup said. "We will keep working on team fundamentals and be better when we take the field Wednesday against Arlington."
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com.
Junior Reds 6, Crofton 2
Crofton...............................................................1-0-0-0-1-0-0 -- 2-2-3
OWA Reds (1-0)...................................................1-0-0-1-3-0-X -- 5-7-1