ENTERPRISE - Chris Smith had the West Union Eagles' number on Thursday and it was two, as in his two-hitter in the Rebels 3-0 win in 3-1A baseball. He struck out 16 batters while issuing no walks in the complete game win.
Smith's impressive performance overshadowed an exceptional outing by West Union starter, Cole Morris Willard, who took a one-hitter into the top of the sixth inning. Willard would exit the game later in the frame, allowing only four hits.
Smith struck out two batters in each of the first four innings and again in the sixth. He struck out the side in the fifth and after giving up a leadoff single in the seventh to JQ Brewer, struck out the remaining three batters to end the contest. Smith only went five batters above the limit as he retired 21 of the 26 he faced.
Willard ran into trouble in the sixth as Smith led off with a single. Hunter Kuhl was the next batter up and hit a sharp grounder to third. The ball was not fielded cleanly and instead of a possible double play or at least retiring the lead runner, everyone was safe.
Logan King laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runners over to second and third for Eli Brown.
Brown came through with a 2-RBI single to give the Rebels the 2-0 lead. Brown went to second on Bryan Clayton's groundout and Hunter Courson came up to the plate with two down.
Courson singled into left, driving in Brown for the third and final run for the Rebels.
Willard exited the game after falling behind in the count to Bradford Hopper. Dylan Gates came in from left to take over the pitching chores and after walking Hopper, got the strikeout to end the frame.
West Union had a glimmer of hope in the bottom of the seventh as Brewer came through with the leadoff single, but Smith slammed the door shut with three consecutive strikeouts to seal the deal.