BASEBALL: Mundy’s Mill remains undefeated in region play with rout of Lovejoy By Luke Strickland
JONESBORO — The Mundy’s Mill Tigers scored seven runs in the first two innings and then nine runs in the fourth inning against Lovejoy Wednesday night to pick up a 16-1 victory to remain undefeated in Region 4-AAAAAA.
The first three batters for the Tigers — David Crawford, Melvin Crawford and Lavar Martin — went a combined 6-for-8 with 6 RBIs and 10 runs scored. Casey Grigley led Mundy’s Mill with 3 RBIs and two doubles.
“I’m still not satisfied, but when they’re hitting well it gives us a chance,” Mundy’s Mill head coach Patrick Smith said after the game. “That’s the last facet of the game that we really emphasize. When they’re doing it well it lets me know that we’ve been putting that work in.”
Mundy’s Mill, having beaten Lovejoy 16-0 on Monday, didn’t take the Wildcats for granted. After Lovejoy scored in the first inning on an RBI single from Kobe Thomas, the Tigers responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame off of Lovejoy starter Calel Stephens. David and Melvin Crawford both reached on singles and came around to score. Dermus Strozier drove in Martin with a ground-out to second base to tack on a third run.
Mundy’s Mill starter Derrick Lindsey settled down in the second inning. He worked around a leadoff single by Seth Tyus, striking out two in the frame to hold Lovejoy scoreless.
The Tigers struck for four more runs in the bottom of the second. Elias Glass led off with a single and scored on David Crawford’s RBI triple to deep right field. Crawford scored as well on the play when a Lovejoy infielder bobbled the cut-off throw. Melvin Crawford followed with a walk and Martin was hit by a pitch, setting up Grigley to drove in both with a double to deep center field.
Staked to a 7-1 lead, Lindsey held Lovejoy scoreless again in the top of the third. Stephens doubled to deep center field with two outs but was stranded in scoring position.
Lovejoy looked poised to blow the game open in the bottom of the third after Fasion Carrington and Glass led off the inning with consecutive walks. However, Stephens made a great play on a line drive back up the middle off the bat of David Crawford, and doubled up Glass at first base. Melvin Crawford popped out to first base to end the threat.
Strozier relieved Lindsey in the top of the fourth and escaped the inning unscathed despite an error with one out. He struck out two in his one inning of relief work.
The wheels came off for Lovejoy in the bottom of the fourth. Nine runs crossed the plate, seven of which came with two outs. A fly ball off the bat of Grigley should have ended the inning and kept the game alive, but an error in right field allowed Martin and Nicholas Harmon to cross home plate, giving Mundy’s Mill the 15-run advantage needed to end the game via run rule.
Lindsey picked up the win for Mundy’s Mill, striking out five while allowing three hits in three innings of work. Thomas drove in Lovejoy lone run, which was scored by Jay Moore.
The victory gave Mundy’s Mill its seventh region win. In those contests, the Tigers have outscored their opponents by a combined score of 92-10.
“We just have a game plan where we try to do what we do well, which is trying to put a lot of emphasis on pitching and defense,” Smith said. “We just don’t worry about who we’re playing. We just try to do what we do.”
Mundy’s Mill (11-4, 7-0) is one of three unbeaten teams in Region 4 along with Tucker and Stephenson. The Tigers are off to a fine start, although the last four games of the season are against those two teams.
Smith said he’s optimistic about what his team can achieve this season.
“Kids are buying in, they believe,” he said. “They do what I ask them to do. When I say buy in, they do the little things right.”
The Tigers return to action Friday for a road game against Jonesboro. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m. Lovejoy (0-7, 0-6) plays Stephenson on the road at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.