Polk begins WHC title defense with win at Owen
Clark Phipps drove in five runs and Polk County pitchers held Owen to two hits to lead the Wolverines to an 11-3 win
Clark Phipps drove in five runs and Polk County pitchers held Owen to two hits Thursday to lead the Wolverines to an 11-3 win over Owen in Swannanoa.
The Wolverines (2-2, 1-0), defending Western Highlands Conference champions, scored seven runs in the first two innings en route to winning their conference opener. Phipps played a key role in that early surge, lacing a two-run double in the first and a two-run single in the second.
Avery Edwards pitched four and a third innings, striking out seven and giving up two hits and two runs, before Kyler Scruggs pitched the final two and two-thirds innings, allowing just one unearned run, striking out four and not allowing a hit.
The Wolverines had seven stolen bases and now have 23 for the season in four games.
Polk took the upper hand in the first inning as Evan Rimer walked, stole second and moved to third on Grayson Jones’ groundout. Nick Capozzi drew a walk before Sedrick Pickett singled to drive in Rimer.
With two outs, Phipps drilled a double to left field to drive in Capozzi and courtesy runner Grant Wooten to give the Wolverines a 3-0 lead. Elijah Sutton reached on an error, then stole second, with an errant throw on the steal allowing Phipps to score to make it 4-0.
With two outs in the second, Jones drew a walk, followed by a Capozzi single and a Pickett walk to load the bases. An error on Kaleb Kropp’s grounder allowed Jones to score, and Phipps followed with a single to left to drive in two and up the lead to 7-0.
Owen cut the lead to 7-2 before the Wolverines added four runs in the fifth. Jordan Bishop drilled a one-out triple, with Rimer then hit by a pitch. Rimer stole second before Jones dropped a perfect bunt that ended up scoring both Bishop and Rimer. Capozzi then hammered a double to center to plate Jones and make it a 10-2 game.
With two outs, Phipps doubled to left to drive in Capozzi with the Wolverines’ final run of the game.
Phipps finished 3-for-4 with five RBI, with Capozzi going 2-for-3 with an RBI and scoring three runs. Bishop, Pickett and Jones each had one hit, with Rimer drawing three walks, stealing two bases and scoring two runs.
Polk County wraps up its season-opening road trip on Tuesday, traveling to Avery for another WHC contest.