Patience pays off in Chargers' rally over Bulldogs
Stephanie Sturgis - Press Sports Editor
The Chargers waited until their last at-bat to bounce back and take a 5-4 win from the Orange and Black.
Westview gained the early advantage with a run in both the first and second innings.
In the home half of the first, Adam Garner led off with a single up the middle and eventually scored all the way from second base on a Gleason error for a 1-0 Westview lead.
The Chargers used a two-out rally to plate their second run of the game. Travis Garner roped a double over the third base bag and down the line. Travis Garner came home on Adam Garner's RBI single to right to give WHS a 2-0 advantage.
After a scoreless third inning, the Bulldogs plated their first run in the fourth. Zach Wallace manufactured the run, drawing a leadoff walk and stealing second base. Matt Mayo's single moved Wallace to third. From there, he scored on an Evan Orr groundout to cut the Westview lead in half, 2-1.
Following a scoreless fifth inning, the Bulldogs took advantage of Westview starter Reid Cates' wildness. The lanky right-hander plunked Wallace to put the quick junior on base with one out. An errant pickoff attempt allowed Wallace to advance all the way to third. From there he crossed home plate on a wild pitch to knot the score at 2-2.
Cates then hit Chase Griffin with a pitch. Austin Sullivan came to first base as a courtesy runner for Griffin and the move by Gleason head coach Mike Bennett paid off. Mayo made Cates pay by smacking a double to the fence in right field, scoring Sullivan all the way from first base to put the Dawgs in front, 3-2.
Orr followed with a single to right that was misplayed allowing Mayo to race home and give Gleason a 4-2 lead.
Cates settled down and struck out the next batter before inducing a groundout to end the Bulldogs' at-bat.
Gleason now had the lead and the momentum. In the home half of the sixth, GHS starter Matt James retired the Chargers in order to maintain his team's advantage.
In the top of the seventh, Cates set the Dawgs down in three-up, three-down fashion.
It was the bottom of the seventh that changed the game's final outcome. James struck out the first batter he faced, but things were about to get rocky for the Gleason right-hander.
Travis Garner gave the Chargers hope with a single to left and Adam Garner followed with another single to put the tying runs on board.
Bryant Fisher's grounder to shortstop was bobbled to load the bases. Madison Hughey swatted a fly to the gap in right center field which was misplayed, allowing both Garners to score and tie the game at 4-all. With first base open, Bennett opted to intentionally walk Tyler Turner to set up the force at every base. The plan didn't work out, as James walked Chris Fowler to bring in Fisher with the winning run.