For Greg Strickland, there is something about playing within the friendly confines of Millbrook High School. At home this season, the junior has gotten on base in five of his nine plate appearances, he has driven in three runs, drawn two walks, and on the mound he has struck out 12 batters in 8.2 innings pitched with only one earned run allowed.
Strickland’s bat paired with his right arm propelled the Wildcats to a 5-4 victory over The Miller School (VA) on Wednesday evening for its second victory of the season (both at home). Strickland went 1-for-4 at the dish with a pair of RBI’s, and struck out four in 4.2 innings pitched. Fellow junior Will Gamble kept his bat hot with two more runs batted in on the season.
After retiring the first six Mustang hitters, Strickland allowed a single to Jeremy Wagner who would be retired a batter later on a 6-4-3 double play. Strickland would strike out the next hitter to keep the score knotted up at zero through two and a half.
Millbrook broke through in the bottom of the third following a single from Gamble, and a double by Dominic Rodts to put two in scoring position with one out for Justin Wilcoxen. The sophomore designated hitter lifted a fly ball to centerfield to score Gamble for the 1-0 lead.
Miller School answered in the top of the fourth with a two-spot on two errors, two hits, and a hit batsman. Adam Hackenberg, and Carrson Atkins drove in the runs to give the Mustangs a 2-1 lead.
The Wildcats took back the lead for good with a one out rally in the bottom of the fourth. CJ Waters got things going with a walk, Tyler Snead followed with a base hit to right, and Cal Teachey slapped a single to left to load the bases for Strickland who would pull a single through the left side to bring home a pair.
Gamble followed Strickland and scored two more with Millbrook’s fourth consecutive hit, another single into left field. The Wildcats took a 5-2 lead into the fifth inning.
The Miller School got a run back in the fifth when Strickland hit his final batter of the day with the bases loaded. Christian Miller came on and tossed the next inning and a third, and with the Wildcats ahead 5-4 in the seventh, Porter Baldwin slammed the door with a 1-2-3 inning for his first save of the season, and sixth of his career.
Millbrook moves to 2-3 on the season, and continues a three game homestand on Thursday against Wake Forest. After a suspended contest on Friday vs. Enloe, the Wildcats are still in search of its first Cap-8 Conference win. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 PM.