Orion baseball holds off A-Town

Mindy Carls
Charger shortstop Cole Kratzberg throws to first for an out during the top of the fourth inning of the varsity game with Abingdon-Avon on Tuesday, April 27, in Love Park.

Despite leading 8-0 at the end of three, Orion’s varsity baseball team found itself headed into extra innings with Abingdon-Avon on Tuesday, April 27.

The Chargers scratched out a run, though, to take a 9-8 win at home in Love Park.

Orion built its lead with three runs in the first inning, two in the second and three in the third, when Quinn Hoftender belted a home run to center field with courtesy runner Joseph Faulkner on second and Cole Kratzberg on first.

Faulkner had replaced pitcher Payton Weaver, who reached on an error by the second baseman. Kratzberg also reached on the first baseman’s miscue.

A-Town clawed back into the game with three runs in the fourth, four runs in the sixth and the tying run in the seventh.

On the mound for the top of the eighth, Orion pitcher Chance Stropes struck out the first two Tornadoes. The third batter lined out to third baseman Jarrett Thornburg.

The Chargers came to bat in their half of the eighth with the top of the lineup ready to make some noise.

Kratzberg doubled on a ground ball into left field. The next batter struck out. Stropes walked.

After Kratzberg went to third on a passed ball, Stropes stole second. Thornburg singled to short, bringing Kratzberg in with the winning run. Stropes stopped at third.

Orion outhit A-Town 7-6.

Hoftender slashed two hits and Kratzberg, Thornburg, Ty Comer, Dathan Moore and Kaden Edmunds, one each.

Comer and Kratzberg each hit a double to go with Hoftender’s home run.

Hoftender drove in four runs and Kratzberg scored four.

Each team committed six errors.

Payton Weaver pitched five innings, allowing six runs, three earned, on six hits and three walks. He struck out three.

Kameron Weaver come on in relief. He gave up one run, unearned, on one walk.

Stropes collected the win with three innings on the mound. He allowed one run, unearned, on two bases on balls. He whiffed five.

Orion hosted Spring Valley Hall for a doubleheader on Saturday, May 1. The Red Devils beat the Chargers 13-3 and 20-8.

In the first game, Orion led 1-0 in the first. After Hall edged ahead 3-0, the hosts tied the game in the bottom of the third. But the Red Devils were good for two in the fourth and four each in the sixth and seventh.

Hall outhit Orion 14-6.

Hoftender and Stropes had two hits each.

Stropes belted a home run and a double, and Hoftender slammed a double.

Hoftender pitched 5-1/3 innings, yielding eight runs, five earned, on 10 hits and one walk. He struck out six.

Kameron Weaver took the mound for 1-2/3 innings. He was charged with the loss for giving up five runs, one earned, on four hits and three walks. He whiffed one.

Orion committed four errors and Hall, one.

In the second game, Hall posted five runs in the third inning only to have Orion take a 7-5 lead in the bottom of the frame.

But Hall was good for four runs in the fourth and 11 in the fifth to secure the win.

The Red Devils pounded out eight hits to seven for the Chargers.

Drake Gunn was the only Orion batter with two hits. Gunn and Kratzberg each slapped a double.

Four Chargers took the mound. Starter Moore took the loss with eight runs, all earned, in 3-1/3 innings. He allowed four hits and three walks while striking out four. Three of the four hits were home runs.

Joseph Faulkner yielded a run, unearned, on two walks.

Edmunds worked 1-1/3 innings. He allowed 11 runs, all unearned on four hits and three walks. He whiffed two.

Comer pitched 1/3 of an inning. He had no runs, no hits, no walks and no strikeouts.

Orion was charged with six errors and Hall with four.