Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
CHILLICOTHE — At some point, Chillicothe’s bats had to awaken. Thursday happened to be the night they decided to do so.
And, they got a little help along the way.
In the third of a four-game series against Terre Haute, the Paints (2-5) snapped a four-game losing streak with a 10-3 victory over the REX — using 10 hits, multiple free bases, and four Terre Haute errors to do so.
“It feels great,” Chillicothe’s Trey Smith said of the win. “We finally got to string a few hits together, got some guys on, moved some guys over .. really good situational hitting I thought.”
Chillicothe took a one-run lead in the bottom of the first inning when Colin Shepherd (Miami) crossed home plate on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Cole Andrews (Miami).
But in the top of the second, Terre Haute provided a quick answer and took a 2-1 lead, scoring twice on RBI singles via Brendan Sher and AJ Fritz.
Chillicothe tied the game 2-2 in the third after Cody Orr (Tiffin) singled in Shepherd, who tripled to lead off the frame. The REX (4-3) went back on top, 3-2, in the fifth when Carter Bridge grounded into a fielder’s choice.
However, in the bottom of the fifth, the Paints took advantage of two costly Terre Haute miscues.
After Charlie Patrick (DePauw) was hit by a pitch, Parker Murdie (Grand Valley State) advanced on a sacrifice bunt that turned into a throwing error. With no outs and two on, Shepherd knocked in a run with what would’ve been a fielder’s choice. But another throwing error allowed both Patrick and Murdie to cross the plate, handing the Paints a 4-3 lead.
Later in the same inning, with the bases loaded and just one out, Trey Smith (University of Indianapolis) sent a high, fly ball into the trees past the left field fence, giving Chillicothe an 8-3 advantage … a five-run hole Terre Haute ultimately failed to climb out of.
The grand slam was Smith’s first home run of the season. It also gives him a team-leading nine RBIs through seven games.
“I went 3-0 [in the count] and I looked at [Paints coach Brian] Bigam and was hoping to get the green light,” Smith said. “He didn’t give it to me. That’s why I had the big leg kick to let him know I was on it. Next pitch, I knew he was going to be coming back with the fastball so I geared up for it and really tried to get the good part of the barrel on it. It just went after that.”
In the sixth, Chillicothe extended the lead to 9-3 when Orr tripled in Shepherd, the centerfielder’s third hit of the evening. Orr then scored, making it 10-3, on a wild pitch later in the frame to round out the final.
On the hill, Collin Hoffmann (Otterbein) picked up his first win of the year. Hoffmann (1-1) threw five innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits and striking out a pair.
At the dish, Shepherd was 2-for-5 with three runs and an RBI while Orr finished 3-for-4 with a triple, two runs and two RBIs. Smith ended 1-for-4 with the grand slam.
The Paints are back in action Friday evening, traveling to Terre Haute for the series finale. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m.
To find news, updates, and more information about the Paints, be sure to visit chillicothepaints.com.