BATS STAY HOT IN 12-6 WIN OVER ASTROS
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga – Gwinnett continues to be good to the Choccolocco Monsters, as 15 hits and 12 runs were more than enough to put away the Astros on the road.
The Monsters (4-7) ambushed the Astros (3-6) with three runs in the first inning alone. A one-out, JJ Rapp double down the left field line kickstarted the offense. Rapp was then singled home by a line drive single to left off the bat of Nate Shipley who also scored following the third consecutive base knock of the frame from Tyler Waugh. Both singles were milestones for Shipley and Waugh who recorded their first RBIs of the year.
Choccolocco has been extraordinarily productive at the plate with two outs, and in the third inning that storyline rang true once again. A two-out, infield single from Brant Deerman and successive hit-by-pitches to Tanner Martin and Jake Spivey, loaded the bases for Josh Cooper. After an extensive at-bat, Cooper would walk to bring in the game's fourth run for the Monsters.
Fast forward to the fifth inning with the lead sitting at 4-3 in favor of the Monsters. Deerman and Spivey would each lock-in a multi-hit performance with a double and subsequent single, respectively. Cooper, who was well on his way to a three-hit game, singled in Spivey for his second RBI of the day and ninth of the season (team high). Two more runs would follow in the sixth inning when lead-off man Brandon Prince extended his hitting streak to seven games and Brennan McCullough drove him in with a missile into the left center field gap. All told, Choccolocco would score eight runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings to make life easier for the bullpen.
Runs were being manufactured up and down Manager Steve Gillispie’s lineup on Monday. Brandon Prince, Nate Shipley, Brant Deerman, and Jake Spivey all finished 2-for-4. Shipley, Tanner Martin, and Brennan McCullough drove in two runs apiece. As previously mentioned, the lone three-hit day belonged to Josh Cooper who went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored.
It was another entertaining performance for University of Alabama-Huntsville right hander, Will Griffith, who gave the Monsters 5.2 innings, giving up five earned runs on four hits. He then turned the game over to the newly acquired Mercer product, Alexander McKay. McKay’s final line from the pen was 2.1 innings pitched, two hits and no earned runs. Daniel Swatek closed the door on the Astros with a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Griffith was the pitcher of record, earning his first win of the campaign.
Choccolocco returns to Gwinnett on Wednesday, the first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. EDT (6:05 p.m. CDT).