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Big Island starts big in Legion ball

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Easily handle New River Valley

By Mike Forster

Big Island Post 217 improved its perfect record to 3-0 with a Father’s Day thrashing of New River Valley.

The Islanders prevailed 8-2, behind the crisp pitching of Jake Tanner and the timely hitting and heads-up baserunning of the rest of the gang.

Tanner threw six shutout innings, allowing only three hits, while being posted to a 6-0 lead.  He struck out five and walked one.

Pitching in front of a small, sun-drenched crowd, Tanner faced only one real threat.  In the third inning, New River’s Kelly Kline hit a double that looked as though it would score the game’s first run.  Shortstop Hunter Gordon, however, took the relay and gunned down Seth Martin at the plate.  Catcher Cody Arthur made the nice scoop and tag on the play. 

Besides that, it was just another day at the office for Tanner.

Vince Claudio came on in relief.  He was touched up for a pair of runs in the seventh, before bearing down in a bases loaded, no-out situation.  The two runs were all Claudio would yield the rest of the way.  He needed only 13 pitches to close out the last two innings of the game.

The Big Island offense put together three nice rallies to tally up its runs.

In the fourth, Shane Timberlake got things rolling when he scampered home from third, following an New River overthrow on a pickoff attempt.

Arthur then drove home John Hatcher, who had moved to third during Timberlake’s shenanigans.

Ragan Rudisill then slapped a single, and Mikey Wallman added a single to right to bring home another run.

In the fifth, Gordon led off with a walk, and Tanner helped out with an infield single.  Claudio’s sacrifice fly to right made it 5-0.  Hatcher added a sacrifice of his own to give Tanner a 6-0 edge.

In the eighth, the Islanders got a pair of insurance runs.  Mikey Wallman’s double scored Rudisill from first.  Rudisill had no intention of letting his foot off the throttle.  It seemed that New River would get him at the plate, but he outhustled his opponents.

Wallman added the final run, scooting home on a passed ball.

On Friday evening, the Islanders earned a come-from-behind win, their second of the season.

This time, the victim was Roanoke Post 3, which fell to the Islanders, 9-7.

Roanoke posted a 5-1 lead, due in large part to some sloppy Island fielding.

In the sixth, though, 217’s offense kicked into gear.  Josh Huffman powered a two-run home run over the left-center field wall.  It was the first tater the former JF catcher has ever hit at the Cavs’ home field.

Mikey Wallman’s sac fly pushed the Islanders to a 6-5 advantage.

Roanoke would respond with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh.

In the bottom of that same stanza, however, Tanner delivered a two-run single to regain the lead.

Gordon came in to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning and earn the save.