River Valley Tropics traveled to Burns Park Tuesday night, June 11 to take on the host NLR Colts in a conference game.
The Tropics beat the Colts earlier in a 4-2 thriller at Ross Field, which was capped off by the three-run homer by Matthew Ward in the fifth inning.
In the re-match, the Tropics came to bat first and got off to a fast start when lead off man Kamron Hurst started the game with one of his three hits on the night. With Hurst on first David Johnson singled sharply to center and the Tropics were in business early. Brandon Wolski was hit by a pitch, so the bases were loaded for Jace Hudson, who hit sacrifice fly to right to score Hurst and make the score 1-0 with all base runners tagging up on the play.
Ward promptly drove in Johnson with a fielder’s choice to make it 2-0. Wolski would eventually cross the plate making it 3-0 after the top half of the opening inning.
Tropics got on the board again in the second inning when Hurst singled again to score Dakota Long who had walked and advanced to third on a hit by Jacob Boles. The 4-0 lead proved to be more than enough for Tropics starting pitcher Jace Hudson and his battery mate Enrique Magdaleno.
However the Colts got there run in the bottom of the second after an error and a hit batter the Colts manufactured one unearned run in the inning to cut the Tropics lead to 4-1.
The Tropics added three more runs in the fifth with Hurst, Johnson and Boles all crossing the plate to make the score 7-1. Hudson retired the next six batters in a row including two nice plays by Taylor Moudy at second base, and through six innings had struck out 10 Colts and had a no hitter working.
The Tropics weren’t done at the plate though. In the top of the seventh, after a Hurst walk, Wolski hit a line shot that cleared the wall in left for a two-run homer and a 9-1 Tropics lead.
Hudson with the no hitter still possible, gave up a sharp single to center field to open the seventh inning, but he bounced back to strike out the final two Colts and make his total of 12 strikeouts on the night.
Hudson got the win and improved to 4-1 on the year. Tropics were lead at the plate by Hurst with three hits, and Boles, Wolski both with two hits apiece. Tropics improved to 10-2 on the year and 4-0 in conference play.
"Jace was as good as I have seen him," said Head Coach Brandt Tencleve. "He is just real crafty and just knows how to pitch. You never know when you’re in the box what you going to get from him. He has three or four pitches and uses several different arm slots. He had everything working tonight. I thought Kamron swung it really well and he was on base all four times and getting three hits, as well. Wolski crushed that ball in the seventh, but he is capable of that at any time. We are starting to play really good baseball and just need to keep improving every time out."