Chili Peppers Improve to 3-1 at home
COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA. – In another close battle with commonwealth foe Peninsula Pilots (7-2), the Tri-City Chili Peppers (3-6) pick up a big win to snap a three game losing streak.
Scoring began in the top of the second as Pilots designated hitter Luke Zimmerman (St. Joseph’s) drove a double to the left field wall to plate the first run of the game. Three batters later, Zimmerman scored on Ethan Hunter’s (Southern Indiana) two-out single to make it 2-0 Peninsula.
Fast forward to the third inning, Chili Peppers starting pitcher Justin Pearson (William and Mary) tossed a 1-2-3 top frame and the offense had his back in the bottom half. With two down, it was Hunter Gilliam (Longwood) driving in a pair of runs on a line drive to center field, tying the game up at 2.
On his two-out approach Gilliam said, “I just wanted to keep it simple and try to drive it up the middle and that’s what I was able to do.”
Both teams had their offense’s start to click as Peninsula got the two runs back from a RBI single from Zimmerman, as well as a Chili Peppers error.
While down 4-2, Tri-City tallied four runs in the home half of the fourth. The first run came thanks to a two-out infield single from Ben Williamson (William and Mary) which was just the start. Gilliam back at the plate, added another RBI single to his line, and again, with two outs in the inning.
Post-game, Gilliam said, “two out hitting, that’s how you win some big ball games.” Tonight epitomized Gilliam’s thoughts.
After Gilliam tied the game at 4, he was followed by Casey Hardford (UT Martin) and the Chili Peppers shortstop singled to left field to score Williamson. The base knock snuck under the glove of the left fielder and the error allowed Gilliam to score also.
The two run lead wouldn’t last long as Pilots right fielder and lead off man Alden Mathes (University of Richmond) took a fastball on the outside corner a long way away in the top of the fifth inning. The two-run homer tied the back once again, this time at 6, and it was the first home run of the Pilots season.
However, the bottom of the fifth inning was no different for Tri-City as the two innings prior. The Chili Peppers saw their lead off bat Wilson Galvan (South Carolina) take a pitch deep for his second long ball of the summer. After the two run blast, Logan Jarvis (Belmont) picked up his third hit of the game and eventually came around to score thanks to another Pilots error.
Both teams were scoreless in the 6th inning, and carried a 9-6 score into inning number seven. The Pilots cut into the deficit with an RBI single from Justin Starke (VMI) and it was back to a two run game.
From there, Chili Pepper relievers Logan Ross (Troy) and Eli Parks (Liberty) teamed up to toss scoreless eighth and ninth innings respectively and secured the Chili Peppers third win on the season.
The Chili Peppers will be back in action against the Pilots tonight for a doubleheader with game one finishing a game from Friday, June 11, that was delayed due to rain. That game will begin in the bottom of the fourth, and then game two will be played after game one’s conclusion.
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