By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Millington Trojans were on a mission to claim another District 14-3A victory welcoming their rival the Bolton Wildcats to town.
The Wildcats walked into Miles Park April 16 trying to keep pace with league frontrunner Bartlett. Millington fresh off a Zack Gamble no-hitter against Cordova was in position to pick up another district win against Bolton ahead 1-0 after a Jacob Copeland RBI bunt in the third inning.
But Bolton’s Copeland, Garrett, gave his team the lead with a triple in the fifth inning leading to a 4-1 victory. The Wildcats improved to 3-1 in the district standings.
“I’ve been struggling lately,” Garrett Copeland acknowledged. “So I needed one hit to get through. I needed that and it helped our team.”
Copeland and the rest of the Wildcat squad had early struggles against Gamble. The Millington senior ace held Bolton to one run with three strikeouts and a double play through the first four innings.
Wildcat starter Colton Spicer matched Gamble pitch for pitch in the first two innings with three Ks. But in the third inning Spicer ran into a little trouble when Trojan Carter Hawkins reached second base on an error.
Up to the plate next was Jacob Copeland. The junior placed down a bunt causing confusion in the infield for Bolton. With a throwing error, Hawkins flew around third base and stepped on home plate a few seconds later giving the Trojans a 1-0 advantage.
Spicer said he didn’t let the back-to-back miscues phase him on the mound.
“I just kept throwing strikes,” he said. “It didn’t break my focus.”
Spicer faced four more Millington batters in the inning leaving two runners on for the Trojans. Then his teammates evened the score when Dalton Fulcher singled in a run in the fourth inning.
In the next inning the Wildcats took the lead for good when Copeland tripled to drive in Austin Westmoreland.
A few pitches later, a passed ball allowed Copeland to score making the tally 3-1. The Bolton advantage grew to 4-1 later in the frame when slugger Tanner Odom doubled in a run.
Spicer kept his grove going against Millington forcing pop outs and ground balls. The victory pulled Bolton’s overall record to 11-11 on the season.
But the Trojans had a chance at payback the following night. Copeland said with Millington seeking revenge, the Wildcats have to take advantage of the home field and momentum.
“We have to jump out on them early,” he concluded. “That’s the key. If we do that we should be fine. We took a while tonight and we can’t have that kind of start at home. We have to get out on them earl