Battery poweredPublished 8:43pm Monday, March 18, 2013
The Northview High School Chiefs rallied Monday night behind strong performances by catcher Brannon Freeman and pitcher Daulton Tullis to beat rival Jay 2-1.
Northview coach Martin Lister called Freeman a spark for the defense. The junior threw out five Jay base runners during the game. “Brannon is coming into his own,” Lister said. “He’s becoming more aggressive behind the plate.”
Meanwhile Tullis settled in nicely after a rough second inning and only allowed Jay hitters one run on five hits.
“He pitched well,” Lister said. “He got aggressive in the strike zone.”
The good defense set the Chiefs up with opportunities for timely hits. They capitalized on those opportunities in the bottom of the seventh inning when Winston Riley doubled to lead off the inning. Outfielder Trey Johnson came in to run for the senior third baseman before strikeouts by Tullis and Jody Bonner left a runner in scoring position with two outs.
Justin Halteman was walked after battling to a 3-2 count with Jay’s Dalton Edwards. With Halteman on first and Johnson on second, Chad Smith walked as well to load the bases for Chasen Freeman. The sophomore singled through a hole in the infield to score Johnson, which won the game for the Chiefs.
“We’re starting to situationally hit,” Lister said.
Tullis allowed one walk in the top of the first inning, but the runner was thrown out at second by Brannon Freeman on a steal attempt. The next two batters were retired in order to end the threat.
The Chiefs’ lead-off hitter Smith was walked, but Chasen Freeman hit into a fielder’s choice and was thrown out at first. Smith advanced to third on a groundout by Kevin Vaughan and was stranded there with a Brannon Freeman groundout.
Taylor Kelley doubled in the top of the second to get things started for Jay. Tullis forced a groundout to first, but Kelley was able to advance to third. He scored on a groundout to give the Royals a 1-0 lead.
Riley took first when he was hit by a pitch with one out in the bottom of the second inning. He stole second, but was thrown out at third. Bonner popped out to end the inning.
Tullis walked a Royals hitter in the top of the third, but the base runner was caught again trying to steal second base.
Smith singled in the bottom of the third before Chasen Freeman hit into a fielder’s choice. Chasen Freeman stole second and Vaughan was walked before Brannon Freeman popped out in foul territory to end the Chiefs’ threat.
Tullis retired the Royals side in order and had two strikeouts in the top of the fourth inning.
The Chiefs’ hitters were retired in order in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Tullis picked up another strikeout in the top of the fifth before the Royals’ Colton Williams hit a bunt single, but was thrown out at second base by Brannon Freeman during the next Royals’ at-bat.
The Chiefs’ hitters were silenced in the bottom of the fifth.
The Royals’ Tucker Vaughan singled off Tullis in the top of the sixth, but the runner was thrown out at first and a Tullis strikeout ended the threat.
Chasen Freeman singled in the bottom of the inning before the Chiefs’ Vaughan flew out to right field. Brannon Freeman double during the next at-bat to score his brother.
With Brannon Freeman on second, David Burkett hit a popup foul ball that was juggled by Jay catcher Vaughan before he caught it in his bare hands. The play led to a controversial double play as Brannon Freeman tagged up to take third, but was thrown out at second to end the inning.
The Chiefs had tied up the game going into the final inning.
After allowing a Royal base runner with a walk, Tullis forced a flyout, a groundout and struck out the opposing pitcher to get out of the seventh.