SPRINGFIELD — It was a surprising turn of events.
Jerid Stokes didn’t contribute a hit or RBI as the Effingham County Rebels erupted for 11 runs in the second inning of their 16-1 pounding of Bradwell Institute at Rebel Field on Wednesday. He hit the ball right on the nose for a fly out to left field.
“That’s the way it goes sometimes,” Effingham County coach Brett Griffin said. “The good thing is he is putting the bat on the ball solid. That makes it tough (for the defense) to make all the plays.”
Stokes has been difficult to keep off the bases since the season started, especially during their current 14-4 stretch without back-to-back losses.
“Jerid has been really hot lately,” Griffin said. “I don’t know that he’s had a hit in every game but he’s had a hit in most of the games. He’s been big for us.”
In Wednesday’s game, Stokes, a first baseman, had three hits in four at-bats, including a double, with two RBI and a run scored. He had only one hit Monday against the Tigers but it sparked a 10th-inning rally in the Rebels 5-1 victory.
“When he struggles a little bit, somebody behind him steps up and comes up with something big,” Griffin said. “It’s a total team thing but he’s kind of leading the charge. You have to have other people in front and behind him, and on base.”
Effingham County piled up 10 base knocks Wednesday. Christian Campbell had two and Zach Wilson, Cullen Wake, Chandler Hinely, Chase Howze and Holden Fields each added one.
Wilson scored twice and had three RBI. Campbell, Jordan Rahn, Wake, Hinely and Howze also tallied two runs apiece.
Avery Elenbaas was the winning pitcher, allowing three hits and one run with four strikeouts. Brandon Hellgren scored the run after hitting an infield and advancing on three passed balls.
Colton Long pitched the last of the four frames. He surrendered one hit and struck out two.