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March 14, 2014

Abram Stanley sets the tone in SE Whit baseball win

Southeast Whitfield High School’s baseball team didn’t need much time Friday to begin the run-scoring routine it’s becoming known for.

The Raiders are making a habit of winning, too.

While Murray County never let host Southeast put the game in rout territory, Abram Stanley hit a three-run home run in the first inning and the Raiders won 7-2 for their sixth consecutive win and seven of their first eight to begin the season.

Colter Faith and Blake Foster reached base on walks, and with one out, Stanley launched a Noah Price pitch over the left-center field fence to give Southeast pitcher Noah Ramsey a quick three-run comfort zone.

“Any time you can get runs on the board first, it improves your game a lot,” Stanley said. “You don’t need to play from behind.”

Stanley now has 16 RBIs, second to Rhett Harper’s 17. Southeast coach Brad Lofton said Foster and Harper draw a lot of attention, but Stanley is just as dangerous at the plate.

“Everyone knows Rhett and Blake,” Lofton said. “Abram has always been one of our better hitters.”

Murray County (0-5) did a good job the rest of the way against Southeast’s offense, which scored nearly double Friday’s run total in a 13-6 win against the Indians last Saturday in Chatsworth.

Southeast scored three more runs in the second inning — from Chase Jenkins’ RBI single, Ty Pendley’s RBI triple and Daniel Chavarria’s RBI groundout — and picked up its final in the fifth on Jose Franco’s squeeze bunt to score Stanley from third.

The Raiders average 11.5 runs per game and this was the first of their wins in 2014 without scoring at least eight runs.

Lofton was happiest with the one zero on the scoreboard for the Raiders — no errors.

“It’s one thing we’ve had to focus on lately,” Lofton said, “is playing better defense.”

Faith finished 2-for-4 while Jenkins, Pendley and Stanley each went 2-for-3.

Price pitched two innings for Murray County and allowed two walks in the third before Petee Waldon replaced him and finished the game. The reliever pitched four innings, allowing just one run off four hits and one walk.

“I thought Petee Waldon really came into his own tonight,” Murray County coach Joel Brown said. “They have a murderer’s row that hits it hard, but they’ll hit everyone hard.”

Murray County scored its first run in the third inning as Austin Carnes walked with the bases loaded, bringing in Austin Gossett. The Indians scored again in the fifth when Carnes’ single to right field brought home Price from third.

Another highlight for the Indians came in the field. They escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the sixth when Foster hit a grounder to Sam Lanier, who started a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

“This was the first time I was really pleased with our defense,” Brown said. “With a little more offense and a little more pitching early, this would’ve been a much closer game.”

Ramsey pitched five innings, walking six but only allowing three hits and striking out four. Foster gave the Raiders two no-hit innings in relief, walking one and striking out four.

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