Madison County’s baseball team slammed Johnson twice this past week, outscoring the winless squad from Gainesville 32-4 in two games.
The Raiders (6-11, 3-5) had little trouble disposing of the Johnson High School Knights (0-11) for a second straight time Monday.
Madison followed last Friday’s 20-2 trashing with a 12-2 home win in five innings on Monday night.
The Raiders were led by Austin Dean’s four hits in game two. Trent Azevedo and Bo Hardman followed with two hits each while Elijah Fleming, Nick Alewine, Zeke Smallwood and Willie Blevins all chipped in a hit each.
Dean also went the distance (five inning run-rule) on the mound, allowing two runs on four hits and recorded two strikeouts and two walks.
Johnson attempted to take the upper hand in the opening inning after getting a lead-off single down the left field line by Joel Munoy, but Munoy was left stranded at third base after Austin Dean battled back to retire Hunter Newman on a double play.
The Raiders, who posted runs in every inning, tossed up a three spot in the bottom of the first inning to gain the early lead. Fleming got things started with a walk and Hardman reached on a fielder’s choice. Dean then delivered his first of four hits on the night with an infield hit. Dean’s grounder, off the glove of a diving Johnson infielder, rolled away far enough to drive home both Fleming and Ethan South who was running for Hardman. Logan Pace, who walked later in the frame, ended up scoring the third run on a hit to left field by Azevedo.
Johnson was able to scratch out their first run of the game in the top of the second inning on a two-out run-scoring single by Micheal McGraw. Madison County answered with two more runs in the home half of the inning to take a 5-1 lead. Smallwood drew a one out walk and Fleming followed with a single. Hardman then delivered a double to left field, scoring both Smallwood and Fleming.
Madison County extended its lead to 7-1 after dropping another two spot in the bottom of the third inning. Dean helped his own cause by leading off with a single to center field before being lifted for courtesy runner Wesley Johnson. Johnson ended up sliding across home on a wild pitch from the Knights’ hurler. Lee Griffeth later reached on an error and accounted for the second run of the inning by scoring on a hit by Alewine.
The Raiders tacked on three more for good measure in the bottom of the fourth frame. Hardman ripped his second double of the game to open the inning. South again entered to run for Hardman and ended up scoring on a double by Dean. Johnson, running for Dean, came safely home on Azevedo’s double to the gap in left center field. Later in the inning, a ground out by Griffeth, drove home Azevedo for the Raiders’ tenth run of the contest.
Johnson added its final run in the top of the fifth, but the Raiders put the finishing touches on the win with two more runs in the bottom of the inning. Smallwood singled and scored on a hit by Blevins. Johnson, who walked, scored the final run on Dean’s fourth hit of the night.
On Friday, the Raiders traveled to Gainesville to face Johnson. Madison County rallied for five runs in the first inning, three in the second and 12 in the third. The game was called after three innings due to the mercy rule, with Raiders ripping 19 hits and claiming a 20-2 win.
Pace slammed two home runs for the Raiders, going 4-for-4 on the day and driving in six runs. Hardman also homered, going 3-for-4 with six RBIs. Dean was 3-for-3 with one RBI and Griffeth was 2-for-2 with an RBI.
Griffeth picked up the win, going 2 and 2/3 innings, allowing two hits, two earned runs, and one walk, while striking out three.
“We took some good cuts at it,” said Raider head coach Charlie Griffeth. “The guy wasn’t throwing breaking balls. He was just kind of throwing it up there.”
The Raiders were scheduled to travel to Walnut Grove on Wednesday before returning home to face the same Walnut Grove team on Friday night at 6:30.
Griffeth said he feels his team is showing some improvement. He noted that the Raiders have suffered some close losses in 2013, with six of the 11 setbacks coming by two runs or less.
“We’ve just got to hang in there and put up some Ws,” he said.