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Spring Mills gets strong start from Montgomery, hits from University, 10-1

GRANVILLE, W.Va. — When Spring Mills pitcher Brandon Montgomery got into trouble against University on Saturday, he found his way out.

Ultimately, Montgomery reached a point where his rhythm and ability to throw strikes prevented any problems, and the Cardinals scored four runs in the fifth to open a comfortable lead in their 10–1 victory against the Hawks at Kendrick Family Ballpark.

Spring Mills (7-15) played University (10-12) within an hour of a city loss to Wheeling Park at Dale Miller Field. Montgomery’s performance allowed them to refocus, as did patience at the plate, which led to the Cardinals drawing 10 walks in the win.

“We talk about adversity, and we would just throw and go and see what happens,” Spring Mills head coach Bradley Barrett said. “It’s beautiful here, a great complex and our boys were enthusiastic. This is a great victory for us.”

After a one-out double by Montgomery in the top of the second inning, the Cardinals produced the first run of the game on a UHS error.

The Hawks’ Riley Anderson was caught stealing third base to end the bottom of the second inning, and SMHS extended its lead in the third on a two-out runscoring single at shortstop off Aiden’s bat Eichelberger.

UHS drew consecutive walks to start the third, but just when it looked like Montgomery might be losing control of the strike zone, he made three consecutive free ball outs and prevented the Hawks from scoring.

“Our approach wasn’t great tonight,” UHS head coach Brad Comport said. “Obviously we have to credit their pitcher and he threw a lot of strikes, but we didn’t do anything to put any pressure on their defense and when we had runners in scoring position we couldn’t take advantage of that.”

In the fourth, Spring Mills got a two-out, two-run single from Rylan Swartz on a University error and an at-bat earlier to extend the inning.

The Hawks narrowed their deficit to 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth on a Colson Jenkins sacrifice fly to right, allowing Mason Chaney to score from third.

Any momentum after scoring was short-lived for the Hawks.

In the fifth, the Cardinals got a runscoring single from Bradley Butts for their fifth run, then added three more in the frame after Wysocki’s bases-loaded walk, a JP Sweeney infield single and a sacrifice fly by Swartz as part of a four -loop stroke. run fifth allowing them to take the lead, 8-1.

“These guys are resilient and we talk about it all the time,” Barrett said. “You have to clear your head and we had to play within 30 minutes, so we had to figure it out.”

Montgomery would face ten batters in the final three innings, including a single by Mason McDonald in the fifth, and one by Max Cash in the sixth, although he was thrown out at second trying to turn it into a double.

“It’s a momentum game and we didn’t play with runners in scoring position early,” Comport said. “They did that and they took advantage of their opportunities and in the end we couldn’t make it a game.”

In the seventh, Eichelberger hit his second runscoring single and the Cardianls scored their 10th and final run on a wild pitch.

Montgomery allowed just the two singles in what amounted to a dominant display.

“We have a young team with two seniors and he is our rock,” Barrett said. ‘He is our man and our great leader. He went there and did his job.”

McDonald, the first of the Hawks’ three pitchers used, suffered the loss.