Mount de Sales showed a little toughness Tuesday evening against rival Stratford, and the result was a come-from-behind 11-5 victory to clinch a spot in the GHSA Region 7-A tournament.
The Cavaliers (15-4, 9-2 Region 7-A) trailed 4-0 before erupting for six runs in the fourth inning to claim the No. 2 spot behind Tattnall Square in the sub-region for next week’s playoffs.
“It was good to see the guys battle back from a little adversity,” said Cavaliers coach Bubba Pool, whose team earned the playoff spot on a tiebreaker with FPD. “We’ve faced a lot of that so far this season and not always done so well.”
Stratford (11-8, 5-6) was cruising after scoring in three of the first four innings.
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“Our philosophy is attack the strike zone (at the plate) and make the routine plays (in the field) to put pressure on the opponent,” Stratford head coach Chance Reynolds said. “I felt like we did that, then had that one inning.”
And a wacky inning it was. The Cavaliers sent 12 men to the plate to take the lead for good on two hits, two walks, two errors, three hit batters and a hitter reaching base on a wild pitch on a third strike.
Ethan Edwards and Harrison Beers knocked in runs in the inning with the others scoring on miscues. Edwards had an RBI double while Beers, who was hit by a pitch leading off, drove in the final run in the inning when he was hit again.
“The guys never wavered in the dugout,” Pool said of the four-run deficit. “You could see in their eyes they were still focused.”
Beers and Edwards also delivered insurance runs for the Cavaliers. Beers capped a three-run fifth with a bases-loaded single to score two runs after Chandler Robinson had doubled home the first run.
“Harrison has had it going here the last four or five games,” Pool said of the junior first baseman. “It was good to see that success continue.”
Edwards, who finished 2-for-4, added a run-scoring triple in the sixth before scoring on a wild pitch.
Adam Leverett pitched the first five innings to earn the victory. Connor Barth struck out four of the six hitters he faced in finishing up. Jackson Pyles was knocked out in the fourth and suffered the loss for the Eagles.
Connor Corbitt led off the game with a home run and scored two other times in a 3-for-3 day for Stratford. His final run came in the fourth when he circled the bases on a single that got past Edwards in center field and gave the Eagles their 4-0 lead.
John Michael O’Quinn and Will Herndon knocked in runs for the Eagles in the second on a walk and a single, respectively.
“We had some positives,” said Reynolds, whose team outhit the Cavaliers 8-7. “There were some good at-bats from some guys.”