WEST FRANKFORT — Bruno Herrell returned to the lineup for the first time in two and a half weeks to lead West Frankfort to a 7-3 win over Anna-Jonesboro in a cross-conference River-to-River baseball game Monday at Bill McKee Field.
""When you're hitting in the nine hole you don't really expect much, so I saw a couple curveballs, but mostly fastballs," Herrell said. "(My) first day back after an injury, I was just looking to put a couple balls in play and do something for my team."
Herrell, who had been sidelined with a separated shoulder, reached base all four times he batted, finishing with two hits, two RBIs and a run scored. He also reached on a error and a walk.
West Frankfort (7-8) had 11 hits with leadoff batter and starting pitcher Lucas Wolfe and cleanup batter Zach Lindsey each recording a pair as well.
"Lucas Wolfe pitched a really good game and the defense backed him up today," said West Frankfort coach Michael Warren. "Our approach at the plate was really good and we had some timely hitting. It was a good game all the way around."
Wolfe (2-2) went the first five innings, pitching around a leadoff single in the first, a two out single in the second, a two-out walk in the third and a leadoff single in the fourth.
The Redbirds took a 2-0 lead in the first inning against Kyle Clover. Wolfe led off with a bloop single to left center. When Noah Vance laid down a perfect bunt down the third base line, Wolfe advanced all the way to third and scored when Jerryd Clark singled to short left center.
Lindsay reached base on a ground ball to right and Peyton Overturf followed with a line drive single to right, scoring Clark from second. Clover then walked Logan Elko to load the bases, but got out the jam by getting Bryson Dorris and Brendan Russell on fly balls to right.
Clover (1-1) pitched out of another jam in the second — caused by three errors and a walk — by picking off a runner at first and having another runner thrown out at the plate.
Herrell and Wolfe each reached on hits to begin the fourth inning. After Vance again successfully bunted them over, Lindsey hit a line drive to left field scoring Herrell and Wolfe followed him across the plate when the left fielder let the ball get past him.
Anna-Jonesboro (8-8) rallied in the fifth against Wolfe, loading the bases with two outs on two walks and a base hit by Bryce Osman. Hunter Ralls then hit a ground ball up the middle, driving in two runs, and when the center fielder mishandled the ball, the third runner scored to cut the lead to 4-3. Ralls and Conner Jeralds led the Wildcats with two hits each.
"They got a bunch of two-out hits and we got one out of several opportunities, and that was the difference in the game," said Anna-Jonesboro coach Aaron Roberts. "That was pretty frustrating to be part of."
West Frankfort got those runs back with a pair in the fifth on a wild pitch and a single by Herrell, and in the sixth when Herrell drew a two-out walk with the bases loaded.
Brendan Johnson relieved Wolfe in the sixth and got out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam. Tyson Broy pitched the seventh, setting down the side in order on five pitches to earn his second save.