Miller Grove takes game one against Trenton
Bobby "Butch" Burney | News-Telegram Sports Editor

May 6, 2005 - PARIS - Ben Whillock gave some, but he took a lot more.

The Miller Grove southpaw surrendered eight walks and five wild pitches, but more than countered that by throwing a no-hitter and ringing up 20 strikeouts as the Hornets defeated the Trenton Tigers, 6-3, in the opening game of their Class A bi-district series.

Game 2 is 5 p.m. today at the North Lamar baseball field, with Game 3 to follow if necessary.

Trenton put just two balls in play against Whillock - a pop-up to right field in the fourth inning and a comebacker to the mound in the sixth. Catcher James Weaver recorded another out by erasing a would-be base stealer in the fourth.

"Ben's a left-hander and left-handers are usually a little bit wilder," said MG head coach Sam Panter. "He had an inning or two where he may have lost his concentration, but he's just got to take it one pitch at a time. He had the adrenalin going, and came back the last couple of innings and settled down. He took out the top of their order in the seventh."

Offensively, senior lead-off hitter Frank Weaver went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored, Whillock knocked in three runs with a pair of singles and a sacrifice fly, and Allan Meadows reached base in all three plate appearances and scored a run.

Trenton scored its first run in the second inning when Kody Kirkland walked with two outs, went to second on a strikeout-wild pitch, and eventually scored on another wild pitch. The second inning was one of two frames that Whillock had a four-strikeout inning.

The Hornets, though, took the lead for good in the top of the third. Frank Weaver and Whillock both singled to open the inning, and James Weaver drove home his older brother with a sacrifice fly. Whillock then scored on a balk by Trenton starter Kaylen Wappez.

Wappez gave up five runs and nine hits in four innings, then was relieved by Michael Foreman, who threw three innings of two-hit, one-run ball.

The bottom half of the Miller Grove order started a rally in the fourth when Billy Giles dumped a single to right and Allan Meadows followed with a one-out single. After Yon Heiljers reached on a fielder's choice, Frank Weaver doubled home one run and Whillock plated two more with a single to left to make the score 5-1.

"We ended up doing a better job tonight of taking the ball to the opposite field than we've done all year," Panter said. "We did a pretty good job of hitting the ball where it was.

"The bottom of our lineup hit the ball. If we can carry through tomorrow, and hit like we did, we'll be OK."

In the sixth, Meadows singled again, went to third on Frank Weaver's second double of the game, and scored on Whillock's sacrifice fly to center for a 6-1 Miller Grove lead.

Trenton pulled to within 6-3 in the sixth on three walks, two passed balls, and a 60-foot RBI grounder by Ryan McTee. But that was all they would get as Whillock fanned the final four batters in order.

Today, Weaver will take the mound for the 5 p.m. start of Game 2.

"They scored three runs and didn't get a hit, and we'd like for that not to happen tomorrow," Panter said after Game 1. "They're real aggressive on the base paths, so we've got to be aware of that."

The winner of the series will take on the winner between Union Hill and Rivercrest-Yantis next week.

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