ERWIN — Corinth Holders is rolling up its share of signature baseball victories in its first year in the new Two Rivers 3A. And on Saturday, the Pirates took a big lead before holding off a Hawk comeback to record another one.
Starter Nick Peach fired four no-hit innings and the lefties in the bullpen held on, giving Corinth Holders a 5-3 victory and a split of their season series.
The victory by the Pirates (9-9, 6-3 Two Rivers) denied Triton (14-5, 8-2) a chance to clinch its first conference title since 1994 when the Hawks were members of the Tri-6 4A. South Johnston can now share the Two Rivers title, if it wins its regular-season finale. (The Trojans met Cleveland on Monday night.) Corinth Holders wrapped up no worse than a third place finish with the win.
The Pirates made the most out of their four hits off Trent Fennell, who struck out 10 while walking four and allowing just two earned runs. Triton also finished with four hits the Hawks also finished with four.
“I thought we came out and did what we needed do do to scratch a run out here and there,” said Corinth Holders coach Adam Weaver, whose team picked up its first victory over Triton. “We put a little pressure on them and were able to capitalize off their mistakes.
“Our guys hung in and fought and put the ball in play when we needed to. And we played decent defense until the last inning. Overall it was a good win for our program.”
It was the Hawks’ first defeat in nine home games this season.
“We made some uncharacteristic mistakes we usually don’t make,” Triton coach Joey Miriello said. “Our approach at the plate wasn’t what it usually is and it was too little, too late.
“We didn’t get runners on base early in the game, and that’s when we usually capitalize on things with the way we run the bases. Their starting pitcher kept us off balance and took away our running game, and that was a big difference in the ball game.”
The Pirates went up 1-0 in the first as Justin Hodge drew a leadoff walk and scored when Oakley Wallrich reached on an error by third baseman Tyler Vaughn.
And it went to 2-0 in the third as Hodge singled to left, stole second, took third on a passed ball and scored on Jake Lewis’ one-out fielder’s-choice ball to short.
The Pirates tacked on another in the third as Wallrich doubled to left with one out and scored on Lewis’ two-out single to right.
“It wasn’t my best game, but I was able to knock in some runs and when I got on the mound we got the outs we needed,” Lewis said. “This is a really good win for us today. I think we’re heading in the right direction at the right time.”
Corinth Holders got a pair of what proved to be much-needed insurance runs in the sixth. With one out, Brendan Bloom walked and stole second, and then with two out Bobby Beare was hit by a pitch with Aaron Clark coming on to run.
Hodge swung at strike three and started running, but catcher Cole Matthews fired the ball wildly past first to score two runs and allow Hodge to reach third.
Triton got the home crowd going with a three-run rally that brought the tying run to the plate twice. With one out Tanner Ferguson reached on a muffed fly to Peach in center, followed by Houston Hamilton’s RBI double to left. Matthews walked, followed by an RBI single to center from Vaughn and an RBI grounder to first from Tyler Tyndall.
But Lewis got Brett McLamb to swing at strike three and the Pirates celebrated.
“I had never taken a no-hitter through four innings,” Peach said. “My fastball and changeup were working good. I couldn’t really control my curve ball, but that’s something I need to work on.
“We hit well enough to win. Timely hitting and small ball won for us.”