A pair of nice defensive plays early on by the Milan outfielders kept Scotland County off the scoreboard early in Monday’s Class 2 District 5 semifinals in Memphis. But the Tigers’ offense proved too potent to keep down for long, as SCR-I put up seven runs in back-to-back innings to defeat the Wildcats 14-0.
Aaron Buford got off to a rough start, walking the leadoff hitter before surrendering a single. He recovered nicely, striking out the next six batters he faced.
Milan got out of a bases loaded jam when Wyatt Boyle robbed Justin McKee of a hit with a diving catch in center field.
Jesus Gonzalez made a similar play in right field in the bottom of the second inning to steal a base hit from Will Pickerell after Elijah Cooley opened the frame with a bunt single. After Buford was hit by a pitch, Cooley advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error by the catcher. Gage Dodge singled home Buford to make the score 2-0. With two outs, Grant Campbell walked and Will Fromm plated both runs with a base hit. He scored on a double by Lane Pence. McKee followed with an RBI single. After a base hit by Cooley, Aaron Blessing walked to load the bases. A base on balls to Pickerell plated McKee to extend the lead to 7-0.
That was more than enough cushion to give Buford the hook after just 36 pitches, allowing him to be used in Wednesday night’s title game.
The Tigers limited the workload on the rest of the staff as well, adding another seven-spot in the bottom of the third to insure the game would end early by the 10-run rule.
McKee, Campbell and Blessing had RBI doubles in the frame.
Grant Campbell held Milan hitless over the next 2 2/3 innings in relief for SCR-I. Gage Dodge got the final out to nail down the 14-0 victory as SCR-I improved to 19-1 on the season.
Buford notched the win, allowing a hit and a walk in two innings of work while striking out six. Campbell fanned five batters and walked one.
Fromm went 3-4 with three RBIs. Cooley was 3-3 with two runs scored and McKee went 2-3 with two RBIs.