Against the Grain: For Morgan Academy, playing with wooden bats is quite a change

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 2, 2003

What does professional baseball and high school baseball have in common? If you said nothing you would be wrong, because yesterday they both had one thing in common at Bloch Park as the Morgan Academy Senators and the defending state champions Lee-Scott played a wooden bat game.

Wooden bats have been out of high school play for years, and the difference in the two bats was distinctly evident in Fridays game.

From putting a different spin on the ball to the sting a wooden bat has to your hands when you make contact, everyone has their own opinion on wooden bats.

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One of the things really noticeable with a wooden bat is the fact that the ball tends to die a lot quicker.

The wooden bat game was the first of two games that the Senators played yesterday at Bloch Park. The Senators dropped the wooden bat game 3-0 and the second game 6-4, but the Senators showed definite signs of improvement.

Even though the Senators dropped the first game 3-0, the pitching was still good for the Senators.

In the top of the third the Senators managed to pick up the first two outs, and it looked like they would get out of the inning unscathed but an error at third base on a playable ball put Kyle Carter on first to give Lee Scott a base runner. Nathan Sumrall then stepped up for Lee Scott and singled to left to score the speedy Carter from first to give Lee Scott the first run of the game and the lead 1-0. Nathan Hughes then popped up to shallow left to end the inning.

In the bottom of th fourth the Senators looked as if they might tie the game. The Senators picked up three hits and managed to get base runners on the corners, but Lee Scott managed to get out of the inning as the Senators strand two.

In the top of the fifth Brent Nichols drew the lead off walk for the Lee Scott, and then Ryan Hunt laid down the sacrifice bunt to advance the runner over to second with one out. Carter then doubled to deep left to score Hunt from second to give Lee Scoot the 2-0 lead. A pass ball allowed Carter to advance to third and Summerall grounded out but it let Carter score from third to give Lee Scott the 3-0 lead.

In the bottom of the seventh Robert Collins singled to right to give Morgan a the lead off hit, but the next three batters didn’t manage to advance him and the Senators dropped the game 3-0.

In the second game the Senator fell 6-4, but they managed to get their first runs of the season as the bats finally woke up for them. The second game was unscheduled and only was five innings instead of the usual seven, but allowed a chance to gain experience that the Senators needed.

In the top of the second inning Lee Scott managed to pick up all six of their runs after having two outs on the board. But the Senators held them in check for the rest of the game and almost made the comeback.

In the bottom of the fourth the Senators picked up three of their four runs of the game. Stow drew the one out walk to give the Senators a base runner, and then Lee Scott then turned around walked Jeremy Smith to give the Senators runners on first and second. Josh McAteer then laid down the sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Collins doubled to shallow right to score Stow and Smith to make the score 6-2. Josh Gardner then stepped up and hit a bullet into the gap to score Gardner and make the score 6-3.

In the bottom of the fifth it looked like the Senators would possibly come back to take the game as Tolar drew the lead off walk and Blake South then was hit by a pitch to give the Senators runners on first and second with no one out. The Senators next to batters couldn’t advance the runners. Smith then drew a two out walk to load the bases for the Senators. McAteer then foul tipped the ball out of the catchers hand with two strikes on and scored Tolar from third to make the score 6-4 with the bases still loaded with two out. Collins came up to bat next but was unable to get anything going as the Senators lost 6-4.