The FPD Vikings bounced back from a Tuesday loss to Stratford by defeating the Eagles 5-3 on Friday night.
Austin Hartley threw five innings of five-hit ball for the win and Garrett West came in to throw two scoreless innings for the save.
FPD was shut out on Tuesday by Stratford but got on the board early in Friday's game. Ryan Jones led off with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch. One batter later, Gavin Bloodworth brought Jones home with a sacrifice fly.
Stratford managed two runs in the top of the second, but FPD took the lead for good in its half of the second, scoring two runs. The Vikings added another run in the third on an error and a double by Bo Fricks and added one more run in the fourth. Stratford loaded the bases in the fifth and scored once, but Hartley pitched out of trouble and then gave way to West in the sixth.
FIVE WHO MATTERED
Will McCormick: The senior shortstop came into the game with a 200 batting average, but he had three hits and scored a run.
Hartley: He pitched five strong innings for the Vikings. After a rough start, Hartley got into a groove in the middle innings and retired six straight hitters in the third and fourth innings.
Jones: The Vikings' second baseman started the game with a double that revved up the offense, and he made an outstanding defensive play at second base in the sixth inning when he went deep into the hole to throw out Austin Arnold at first base.
Trey Giles and Arnold: They led the way for Stratford with two hits each.
FPD coaching adjustment: With FPD head coach Denny Bryant serving the first game of a two-game suspension, assistant coach Sy Jones stepped in to lead the Vikings to the win.
Defense wins games: Along with Jones' excellent play in the sixth, the game ended with another outstanding defensive play. With two outs in the seventh inning, Giles singled to right field and the ball ended up going all the way to the fence. With Giles streaking around the bases, FPD missed the cutoff man and the ball ended up between the shortstop and the third baseman. But left fielder Kendall Friar tracked the ball down and threw a strike to home plate to get Giles for the final out.
THEY SAID IT
Sy Jones on his team's effort: "We knew it would be different without Coach Bryant in the dugout, but he was at practice this week and we had an excellent Wednesday and Thursday practice. We got great pitching from Hartley and West, and it was a very important region win for us."
Sy Jones in his first game as head coach: "It was not that different really because Coach Bryant had these kids ready to play. I have one more game on Monday, and hopefully I can end at 2-0 and then retire."
Stratford (5-3, 1-1 GHSA Region 7A-A) plays Tattnall Square on Tuesday, while FPD (8-3, 2-1) meets Mary Persons on Monday.