From Staff Reports
JACKSON â€“ Hunter Bolin pitched five solid innings and Ryan Mann had three hits to help Starkville Academy get past Hillcrest Christian 9-8 Thursday night in Jackson.
Bolin earned the win for the Volunteers, who improved to 1-1 this season.
"(Bolin) is still a young guy, just a sophomore, but he pitched a little bit last year and got a little experience," said second-year Vols coach Neal Henry. "It's good to get him even more experience early in the season. He came in, threw strikes and got ahead of people. We made some errors behind him, but we picked that up with our bats."
Alex Holtcamp relieved Bolin in the sixth inning and took care of the mound duties for the Vols until Mann entered with one out in the seventh and recorded the final two outs for the save.
Mann also paced SA offensively, going 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles to help the Vols rebound from their season-opening Tuesday loss to Brookhaven.
"Overall (against Hillcrest) we hit a lot better," said Henry. "Tuesday when we lost, we struck out too many times. We focused on two-strike swings (Wednesday) during practice, and we cut our strikeouts in half (Thursday) and put the ball in play and made Hillcrest make plays."
Starkville Academy returns to action on Saturday with their first home game of the 2011 season.
A junior varsity game will begin Saturday's action against Winston Academy at 4 p.m. with the varsity game immediately following.
"It'll be nice to come back home and open up on our home field," said Henry. "We've had two pretty good road trips against two pretty good teams. We're just looking forward to playing again Saturday."