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Carnevale and Eckert blast Baseball past Wakefield, 20-8

By Evan Moesta, 04/28/16, 12:30AM EDT

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The only thing that’s heating up more than the weather are the bats of the Millbrook Baseball team. They extended their winning streak to three games with a come from behind 20-8 win at Wakefield on Wednesday night. During that winning streak, the Wildcats are averaging 13 runs scored per game.

Tyler Snead started the game with a single to right field, and he scored on a two out base hit to left by Andrew Strickland to give Millbrook a 1-0 lead. Wakefield answered right away vs. Cole Leneschmidt when Nick Coutros ripped a one out double to right in the bottom of the first to tie the game at 1-1. After a walk to Kyle Grewe, Hunter Stephenson took his turn hitting an RBI double to right field that brought home a pair of runners to give the Wolverines a 3-1 lead through one inning.

Millbrook answered right back in the top of the second inning. Scott McKeon singled to start the frame, and Leneschmidt followed with a double to put a pair of runners in scoring position for Will Gamble who would be hit by a pitch to load the bases. After a fielders choice at home with the bags full, Snead reached on a one out single to score Leneschmidt’s pinch runner, CJ Waters. The sophomore’s RBI single kept the sacks packed with Wildcats for arguably the team’s hottest bat in Bryce Carnevale. Per usual over the last week, Millbrook’s left fielder came through with a big run-scoring knock. Carnevale skied a bases loaded double to right field to score Gamble, Eckert, and, Snead to retake the lead, 5-3.

After Leneschmidt hurled a 1-2-3 second inning, the Wildcats got right back up to the dish to do damage in the third. New Wakefield pitcher, Parker Chestnut started his outing by hitting Andrew Strickland with only the second pitch that he threw. Dennis Delgado followed with a single to left, and his pinch runner Reid Herring was able to navigate his way to third on a first pitch bunt from Scott McKeon moments later. Chestnut committed an error on the play that allowed Herring to move to third, and Strickland to motor home from second to increase the lead to 6-3. After a visit from the mound, Chestnut promptly hit Leneschmidt with a pitch to once more load the bases with one out. Tyler Eckert, who entered Wednesday’s game hitting .091 on the season tested his fate with a successful squeeze bunt to score Herring, and advance two runners into scoring position. The bunt also gave Millbrook a 7-3 lead heading into the Wolverine half of the third inning.

Coutros, and Grewe were right in the middle of things again to start the bottom of the third. Both senior’s reached on one out singles, and scored on a Stephenson double to chip into the Wildcat lead at 8-5. Every time a run was scored on Wednesday night, it seemed as if the opposing team had an answer their next time at bat. Millbrook continued to take their turn putting runs on the board in the top of the fourth inning to provide all of the offense that they ended up needing.

Dominic Rodts singled to start the Wildcat fourth, then Andrew Strickland, and Dennis Delgado each drew a walk to guess what? Load the bases for Millbrook. Regardless of who was on the mound, the Wildcats were cashing in with the bases juiced. Ryan Fowler entered the game for the Wolverines, and made a bad situation even worse with a walk to the first man he faced, Scott McKeon. That kept the bases loaded with nobody out, and gave Millbrook an 9-5 lead. Cole Leneschmidt followed by lifting a sacrifice fly to score Strickland to make it a 10-5 game through three and a half. 

Leneschmidt’s bat helped his cause on the mound heading to the bottom of the fourth. Fowler led the frame off with a single, and moved to second on a passed ball. Leneschmidt got the next hitter to ground out to end his outing with one down in the fourth. The big right-hander tossed 3.1 IP, allowing 6 runs, on 7 hits, and he struck out three Wolverines in the process. Ethan Banks came on and immediately got a strikeout of Hunter Stevens to start his outing before allowing an inherited runner to cross home on a Jake Norris two out single.

Banks went back to work in the bottom of the fifth after Millbrook failed to put a run up on the board for the only time on Wednesday night. Ethan had to battle in his second inning of relief as Wakefield made things interesting at 10-8. A two out walk, and an error by McKeon helped score a run, and put a runner on second base. Fowler singled once more, then Kyle Smith launched an RBI single to right to put the tying run on base in the fifth. Banks buckled down and got Stevens to fly out to right to end the inning.

The Wildcats broke the flood gates wide open in the top half of the final two innings. Strickland, and Delgado each singled to start the sixth. Just like his last appearance, Scott McKeon drew a walk to load the bases against a new Wakefield pitcher. This time it was Hunter Stephenson who had the honors of dishing out the free pass, and passed ball that brought Andrew Strickland home. With two outs in the top of the sixth, Tyler Eckert singled to center to score two more runs, and give Millbrook a 13-8 advantage. After Tyler Snead walked, Bryce Carnevale mashed another run scoring double to left field to make it 15-8.

In the top of the seventh, Strickland, Delgado, and McKeon reached consecutively for the third straight time to fill the bases. Banks walked four balls later to score Strickland, then Tyler Eckert rocked a one out double to center to score two more making it 18-8. Eckert drove in a career high 6 runs in the ballgame, afterwards he said that “we did a great job of working each and every pitcher that Wakefield had, they threw a ton of pitches tonight (198) and luckily we were able to square them up and find some gaps”.

Tyler Snead followed Eckert’s lead with his third hit, and second RBI of the night to make it 19-8. Bryce Carnevale joined the six RBI club a batter later when he lifted a high fly ball to the outfield to score Eckert on a sacrifice, and close out the scoring at 20-8. Despite a pair of walks, singles, and one error, Ethan Banks was able to cruise through the final two frames for the save. He struck out five batters in his 3.2 innings of relief, and allowed no earned runs to lower his ERA to 2.90 on the season. After an 0-4 showing last week at Wake Forest, Bryce Carnevale is 6 for his last 12, with four doubles, and eleven RBI’s. He now leads the team in hitting at a .351 clip.

Millbrook is heating up at the right time after dropping a pair of conference games two weeks back. Going into their third consecutive game (weather permitting) on Thursday vs. Heritage, the Wildcats are 14-7, and 9-2 in the Cap-8 Conference. The home matchup against the Huskies will be for sole possession of first place in the conference as both teams enter with 9-2 Cap-8 records. Heritage is coming off a no-hitter on Wednesday night vs. Wake Forest. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM. Follow @Baseball_MHS, and @Millbrook_SBC on Twitter for updates on the status of the game.