Hoppers

Hoptown Hoppers coach Keirce Kimbel had enough confidence in his team going into Friday’s first game of the Ohio Valley League playoffs that he didn’t start either of his two winningest pitchers.  Instead, he sent another familiar face to the mound at Hopkinsville High School to get his shot.

Former Hopkinsville and Caldwell County Tiger Luke Brown got the nod for game one against Muhlenberg County, and after a strong performance, propelled his team to a 12-3 win.

“I was excited, first of all for the opportunity and to thank God,” Brown said after earning the victory. “I’m glad he had the confidence in me to give me the ball.”

Brown went seven innings and allowed nine hits, but only one earned run. The Stallions outhit the Hoppers 13-11, but it was Hoptown that capitalized on the opportunities.

“I didn’t really notice I was giving up a lot of hits,” he said. “You can kind of do that when you don’t walk anybody and that’s what I tried to do tonight. My defense was awesome as usual. I can’t thank them enough.”

Kimbel said he knew what Brown was capable of and he’s glad he was able to show it.

“He built off of what he did last time,” he said. “He did really well and he was locating his fastball in and out. I was just really happy with him. He went seven innings and that’s what gave the chance.”

At the plate, the Hoppers scored in six of the nine innings, including two in the bottom of the first.

After a groundout, Zach Duvall singled, then Taylor Fought and Reese Alexiades were hit by pitches to load the bases.

Griffin Rivers struck out swinging, then Nolen Milton had his first of two big hits on the night to score two runners.

Hoptown added another in the second inning and led 3-0 after two.

Heading into the seventh, the Hoppers led 6-0 and Brown’s pitch count was getting higher, but Kimbel stuck with him and allowed him to finish the inning.

In the bottom of the frame, the Hoppers found some insurance after a three-run home run by Milton to put the score at 9-1.

Kimbel said Milton’s home run changed the way he managed the rest of the game.

“It was huge,” he said. “I went into that inning second guessing myself whether I should use Jesse (Philp) or not because we were up 5-6 runs, but I kind of went back to what I said earlier. You’ve got to win each day and not worry about tomorrow.

“I was going hoping we’d get some runs up then we got two on and Nolen delivered.”

Kimbel went with former Hopkins Central hurler Dalton Utley for the final two innings.

Hoptown added two more runs in the frame,  then in the bottom of the eighth, Alexiades delivered a line drive home run to center for the final run and another RBI to his resume.

Alexiades said he wasn’t sure if the ball was out when it hit his bat.

“You try not to think that,” he said. “You always want to go hard out of the box but I got a good piece and it went out.”

Milton finished with two hits and five RBIs while Aharon Modlin, Duvall, Fought and Daryl Myers also finished with two hits.

Prior to the game, Alexiades and Dustin Berrong were honored as league leaders this season. Alexiades finished with 38 RBIs to lead the league while Berrong’s eight wins on the mound not only were the most in the OVL, but the most in OVL history.

Hoptown now has a 1-0 lead in the best-of-3 series and plays next at 7:30 p.m. today at Muhlenberg County where former Heritage Christian Academy Warrior Alex Walker will get the start.

Hoptown 12,

Muhlenberg Co 3

Stallions (16-25)    3    13    1

Hoppers (25-16)    12    11    0

WP: Luke Brown; LP: Brooks Warren

2B — Stallions: Austin Toth (2), Chris Gambert, Alfred Cruz, Jacob Morris; Hoppers: None

3B — Stallions: None; Hoppers: Taylor Fought

HR — Stallions: None; Hoppers: Nolen Milton, Reese Alexiades

Reach Tyler Dixon at 270-887-3260

or tdixon@kentuckynewera.com.

Stallions at Hoppers
Score By Innings123456789RHE
Stallions0000001203131
Hoppers21001251012110
Hoppers 12, Stallions 3
HoppersStallions
 abrhbi abrhbi
Aharon Modlin ss3222Jacob Morris cf5020
Zach Duvall 2b5122Nolan Brimbury 3b5020
Taylor Fought dh4221Ian Walters 2b5010
Reese Alexiades cf3211Alfred Cruz rf4110
Griffin Rivers rf4100Chris Gambert c3121
Nolen Milton 3b5125Michael Brown 1b4021
Daryl Myers 1b5120Tyler Burns dh4000
Dalton Dedas c3100Austin Toth ss4130
Aidan Elias lf2100Matt Brown lf4000
Luke Brown p0000Brooks Warren p0000
(t8) Dalton Utley p0000(b7) Billy Burgett p0000
     (b8) Hunter Lacefield p0000
TEAM TOTALS34121111TEAM TOTALS383132
E: Brooks Warren. LOB: Hoppers 7, Stallions 10. 2B: Austin Toth(2), Chris Gambert,
Alfred Cruz, Jacob Morris. 3B: Taylor Fought. HR: Reese Alexiades, Nolen Milton. SB:
Aidan Elias, Alfred Cruz. CS: Austin Toth. SB: Aidan Elias.
HoppersIPHRERBBSO
Luke Brown W7.0091113
Dalton Utley2.0042211
Stallions      
Brooks Warren L6.0086524
Billy Burgett1.0025521
Hunter Lacefield1.0011101
HBP: by Brooks Warren (Taylor Fought), by Brooks Warren (Reese Alexiades). . . . . .
, by Billy Burgett (Aidan Elias), by Billy Burgett (Aharon Modlin). . . WP: Luke
Brown, Billy Burgett(2). PB: Chris Gambert. Balk: Brooks Warren(2). T: 2:40. A: 373.
Stallions - Top of the 1st:
Jacob Morris struck out swinging.
Nolan Brimbury grounded out.
Ian Walters grounded out.
0 run, 0 hit, 0 error, 0 lob.
Hoppers - Bottom of the 1st:
Aharon Modlin grounded out.
Zach Duvall singled, batted forward to home.
Taylor Fought hit by pitch, batted forward to home.
Reese Alexiades hit by pitch, batted forward to 3rd.
Griffin Rivers struck out swinging.
Nolen Milton singled, batted forward to 2nd, forced out at 3rd, 2 RBI.
Daryl Myers singled, batted forward to 2nd.
Dalton Dedas reached on fielder's choice.
2 run, 3 hit, 0 error, 3 lob.
Stallions - Top of the 2nd:
Alfred Cruz flied out.
Chris Gambert singled.
Michael Brown struck out swinging.
Tyler Burns flied out.
0 run, 1 hit, 0 error, 1 lob.
Hoppers - Bottom of the 2nd:
Aidan Elias grounded out.
Aharon Modlin singled, advanced to 2nd on balk, advanced to 3rd on error, batted
forward to home.
Zach Duvall struck out swinging.
Taylor Fought singled, forced out at 2nd, 1 RBI.
Reese Alexiades reached on fielder's choice.
1 run, 2 hit, 1 error, 1 lob.
Stallions - Top of the 3rd:
Austin Toth singled, caught trying to steal 2nd.
Matt Brown flied out.
Jacob Morris doubled.
Nolan Brimbury flied out.
0 run, 2 hits, 0 error, 1 lob.
Hoppers - Bottom of the 3rd:
Griffin Rivers struck out looking.
Nolen Milton flied out.
Daryl Myers flied out.
0 run, 0 hits, 0 error, 0 lob.
Stallions - Top of the 4th:
Ian Walters flied out foul.
Alfred Cruz ground rule doubled, hit by fair ball, called out.
Chris Gambert reached on fielder's choice.
Michael Brown grounded out.
0 run, 1 hit, 0 error, 1 lob.
Hoppers - Bottom of the 4th:
Dalton Dedas grounded out.
Aidan Elias grounded out.
Aharon Modlin walked, forced out at 2nd.
Zach Duvall reached on fielder's choice.
0 run, 0 hit, 0 error, 1 lob.
Stallions - Top of the 5th:
Tyler Burns flied out.
Austin Toth doubled, batted forward to 3rd.
Matt Brown grounded out.
Jacob Morris grounded out.
0 run, 1 hit, 0 error, 1 lob.
Hoppers - Bottom of the 5th:
Taylor Fought tripled, advanced to home on balk.
Reese Alexiades struck out swinging.
Griffin Rivers grounded out.
Nolen Milton flied out foul.
1 run, 1 hit, 0 error, 0 lob.
Stallions - Top of the 6th:
Nolan Brimbury singled, forced out at 2nd.
Ian Walters flied out.
Alfred Cruz reached on fielder's choice, stole 2nd, batted forward to 3rd.
Chris Gambert walked, batted forward to 2nd, forced out at 3rd.
Michael Brown singled, batted forward to 2nd.
Tyler Burns reached on fielder's choice.
0 run, 2 hits, 0 error, 3 lob.
Hoppers - Bottom of the 6th:
Daryl Myers singled, batted forward to home.
Dalton Dedas walked, batted forward to home.
Aidan Elias sacrifice bunted.
Aharon Modlin singled, advanced to 2nd on passed ball, 2 RBI.
Zach Duvall popped out.
Taylor Fought grounded out.
2 run, 2 hits, 0 error, 1 lob.
Stallions - Top of the 7th:
Austin Toth doubled, batted forward to 3rd, advanced to home on wild pitch.
Matt Brown grounded out.
Jacob Morris singled, advanced to 2nd on wild pitch.
Nolan Brimbury struck out swinging.
Ian Walters grounded out.
1 run, 2 hits, 0 error, 1 lob.
Hoppers - Bottom of the 7th:
Reese Alexiades walked, batted forward to home.
Griffin Rivers walked, batted forward to home.
Nolen Milton hit 3-run home run, 3 RBI.
Daryl Myers flied out.
Dalton Dedas struck out swinging.
Aidan Elias hit by pitch, stole 2nd, advanced to 3rd on wild pitch, batted forward to
home.
Aharon Modlin hit by pitch, advanced to 2nd on wild pitch, batted forward to home.
Zach Duvall singled, advanced to 2nd on wild pitch, 2 RBI.
Taylor Fought grounded out.
5 run, 2 hits, 0 error, 1 lob.
Stallions - Top of the 8th:
Alfred Cruz walked, batted forward to home.
Chris Gambert doubled, batted forward to home, 1 RBI.
Michael Brown singled, tagged out going to 2nd, 1 RBI.
Tyler Burns flied out.
Austin Toth flied out.
2 runs, 2 hits, 0 error, 0 lob.
Hoppers - Bottom of the 8th:
Reese Alexiades hit solo home run, 1 RBI.
Griffin Rivers struck out swinging.
Nolen Milton grounded out.
Daryl Myers grounded out.
1 runs, 1 hits, 0 error, 0 lob.
Stallions - Top of the 9th:
Matt Brown flied out foul.
Jacob Morris grounded out.
Nolan Brimbury singled, batted forward to 2nd.
Ian Walters singled.
Alfred Cruz struck out swinging.
0 run, 2 hits, 0 error, 2 lob.

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