Monroe baseball beats Orange after strong start

Behind two big first innings, William Monroe baseball was able to avenge its season opening loss with Orange County by handing the hosting Hornets a loss with an 8-6 win on the road.


The Dragons picked up six runs in the first two innings. Reilly Owen and Brice Slaughter each had RBI singles in the first and with the bases loaded, Derek Ryan was hit by a pitch to make it 3-0. The Hornets answered immediately though in the bottom of the first starting with an RBI double from Keenan Williams and then a 2-run single from Tucker Hensley to make it 3-3.


Monroe picked up three more runs in the second to go up 6-3. The rally featured Owen coming up with a 2-run triple followed by an RBI single from Slaughter two at-bats later.


Things cooled down from there. The Dragons added two more runs of insurance in the top of the fourth after Slaughter came up with a single and later scored when Sal Coyle reached base on an error. Ryan followed that with an RBI single to plate Coyle and make it 8-3.


Orange picked up its final three runs of the game in the bottom of the fifth. Cannon Davies and Williams started the rally with a leadoff single and double respectively. Tucker Hensley drove in Davies with a single. Brett Jennings then reached on an error to bring in Williams. Finally, with the bases loaded, Jacob Guempal drew a walk to cut the lead to 8-6.


The Hornets put runners in scoring position in both the bottom of the sixth and seventh. Coyle pitched out of both jams, most importantly getting a line out to third with the bases loaded to pick up the save. While Owen got the start and picked up the win, Coyle threw three innings of shutout relief while striking out five batters and giving up just two hits.


For Monroe, Slaughter was 3-for-3 with two RBI. Owen finished 2-for-4 with three RBI. Ryan went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI.


Orange was led by Hensley’s 3-for-4 and two RBI. Williams was 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Davies finished 3-for-5.


Orange (1-3) will host Spotsylvania on Tuesday while Monroe (2-2) travels to face Spotsylvania on Wednesday.