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Hilltoppers turn tables on Vikings

Johnny Wilson • Updated Apr 3, 2018 at 8:53 AM

BRISTOL — Tennessee High may have come into its early season Big 7 Conference headliner against Science Hill with a lot of gaudy numbers, but it was the Hilltoppers who brazenly bashed the baseball around Monday in a 14-2 road hammering of the homestanding Vikings.

Of course, Science Hill has been doing this all season, having scored double figures in all five of its conference victories en route to a 5-0 league start, 12-3 overall.

The Toppers banged out a whopping 17 base hits in the five-inning, slaughter-rule affair at Tod Houston Field.

"Obviously, we're not trying to do too much, just taking what they give us,'' veteran SHHS coach Ryan Edwards said. "We used all fields today. Hitting line drives, obviously, I'm very pleased with our hitters.''

No one had more fun than leadoff man Ben Grable, a senior who bashed a solo home run to open the game. He added another homer and a single for three RBI.

"It's definitely on me to get the momentum going in the dugout, to get the guys going over there,'' said Grable, who scored three times. "That was a great way for us to get started tonight.''

David Bryant had a big game as well, blasting a two-run homer in the first and a pair of doubles as well on his way to scoring four times and driving home three.

"We've really been bonding as a team, coming together," Grable said. "We have a bunch of close guys who are like a family. We like to get in the cage and work on our stuff. Everybody's been hitting it well."

Chance Hall also had a three-hit game for SHHS while collecting two RBI.

NO LETUP

Up 3-2 after Grable and Bryant both went deep off THS starter Bodhi Baker, Science Hill put together a four-run inning in the second, In addition to Grable's second blast, Matthew Levi drilled an RBI-single and Hall ripped a two-run double.

And if the Vikings (3-1, 13-2) had any visions of a comeback, the Hilltoppers put those fantasies out of touch with another four-spot in the third.

Grable and Bryant again drove in runs, as did Garrett Stiltner with the first of his two RBI doubles.

The game's only error, an errant throw by relief pitcher Jarrett Powell, allowed SHHS to take an 11-2 lead into the bottom of the third.

"These guys (THS) are very good and they beat us three out of four last year," Edwards said. "We had a good day, yes, but this is just one game."

Levin finished with two RBI, while Kolton Keller had two hits and an RBI, and Cade McCoy had two hits and scored twice. 

NICE GAME

Science Hill pitcher Garrett Wilkins had his way with the Vikings, who had been averaging more than a dozen runs a game themselves.

A hard-throwing righthander, Wilkins went the distance and scattered four hits while striking out eight.

"I was very pleased with Garrett's performance out there," Edwards said. "He never gave in and just kept making big pitches when he needed to.

"We try to hit the baseball and throw strikes on the mound. Tonight was a good outing for us, but it's just one game.''

THS did its only damage off Wilkins in the first inning in the form of a two-run double by Jason Vanhoy.

The two teams play a return date today at Science Hill.

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