Booker leads Polk baseball to win over rival Landrum, 16-4

Published 9:17 am Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Polk’s Joel Booker takes a swing against Landrum on Monday night. Booker had a three-run homer in the first inning to get the Wolverine offense going. He also pitched the final two innings of the game, striking out five Cardinal batters in the 16-4 victory. (photo by Joey Millwood)

Polk County centerfielder Joel Booker served as baseball bookends Monday, April 11 against rival Landrum. The junior got the offense cranking in the first inning with a three-run homer. On the other end of the game, he pitched to seven Cardinals, striking out five of them in a 16-4 victory.
“He looked unreal tonight,” Polk coach Ty Stott said of Booker.
Booker set the tone with his first inning homer, which led to a seven-run inning for the Wolverines. They never looked back. The Wolverines got hits up and down their lineup and the bottom half of the order was very productive. Polk’s five through seven hitters combined for 12 hits, including a sixth inning homer by Roberto Taft.
The Wolverines have been strong throughout their lineup all season, but the bottom half of the order depends on Lucas Cash hitting in the fifth spot.
“For our lineup to rotate like it’s supposed to, (Cash) has to step up,” Stott said.
Cash had three hits Monday.
For the Cardinals, it was a rough timeout from their region schedule. Landrum has been on a tear in region play, gearing up for the 1A playoffs. Whether the Cardinals win the region could come down to a matchup at home against Southside Christian next Monday night if the Cardinals finish strong this week.
“(This game is) basically a scrimmage like in football, but halfway through the season,” Landrum coach Ray McCallister said. “Right now (Polk) is just better than they’ve been.”
The Cardinals scored their four runs in the second inning. Jon Humphries hit a double to drive in Landon Rhoden and Kaleb Kuykendall. Thomas Rabatie followed with a two-run homer.
Alec Philpott won the game for the Wolverines on the mound. It was his second win over the Cardinals this season.

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