Thunder loses comeback bid

GREENVILLE – The Greenville Thunder 19U battled back from an 8-1 deficit only to come up short in a 10-8 Wednesday night loss to Springfield Armaloy at Sater Heights Park.

“We kept chipping away,” said Thunder coach Chad Henry of the 7-run deficit. “They know you’re not going to go up there and hit an eight run home run. The best you can do is get on base and just put it on the next guy, and they did that.”

Trailing 8-1 at the end of the fourth inning, the local team battled back to outscore the visitor 7-0 over the next two innings to knot the score at 8-8 after six complete.

“We didn’t know we were going to give it up for dead,” Henry said of the team’s chances for a quick run rule loss. “I said, what are you guys going to do? Are you going to respond to this or are you going to roll over and let them do it.”

Armaloy pushed two runs across in the top of the seventh while keeping Greenville off the board in the bottom of the inning to spoil the Thunders chances of a come from behind win.

Greenville racked up eight hits on the night with Zac Longfellow pacing the Thunder going 3-4 at the plate including a triple, two singles and a walk good for 2-runs scored and a RBI.

Tyler Beyke was 2-3 with a walk and 3-runs scored, Grant Delk went 2-3 with a walk and 3-RBIs and Tytan Grote added a single to round out the team’s hits on the night.

An aggressive Thunder summer schedule with no rainouts to date is stretching the team pitching staff available innings on the mound.

“When you set up the schedule it doesn’t get a lot of rainouts or you don’t get a lot of make-ups so you kind of plan on some rainouts every once in a while,” Henry noted. “We haven’t had a single rainout so we’re playing seven games a week.”

“Tonight, Alec Fletcher our right fielder and backup first baseman comes in, he pounds the zone, he set them down for four-innings. Exactly what we needed and set the stage for the entire end there to play out.”

Not only did COVID-19 taking away the spring high school baseball season but it eliminated the 2020 American Legion Baseball season as well.

Coach Henry and his staff had one of the most promising Greenville American Legion Post 140 teams penciled in for the 2020 season with some of the area’s best players on the roster. With the cancellation of the Legion season, Coach Henry quickly put together a schedule playing as the Greenville Thunder 19U.

“We really loaded the schedule up this year,” Henry said. “I knew I had a pretty senior laden group so we didn’t get any younger teams on there, we loaded it up – let’s see what happens. The idea originally –obviously play well and go and win, go to state and do something like that with this group but that didn’t work out. We can still come out here, we can still have fun. We’re doing a lot of things people aren’t able to do across the nation so we’re having fun with it.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Alec Fletcher pitches middle relieve for the Greenville Thunder 19U team. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

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