W. Country Day rallies late
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on April 13, 2012 1:48 PM
Wayne Country Day erased an early deficit and rallied past Grace Christian of Sanford 5-3 on the first day of the Charger Diamond Classic on Thursday afternoon.
A slow start put the Chargers in an early 2-0 hole. The first five Grace batters all reached base, four on walks and one on an infield single. Wayne Country Day head coach Michael Taylor made a pitching change and sent seventh-grader John Strickland to the mound.
Strickland retired three consecutive hitters to end the inning without further damage.
"I am really proud of John for stepping up like that," Taylor said. "He had never pitched in a varsity game before today and he did an excellent job."
After Grace added an insurance run in the third inning, the Charger bats finally erupted for some offense in the bottom of the frame. Cody Neal reached on an error and Cole Davis walked ahead of an RBI single from Hil Tanner. Joshua Jackson followed with an RBI groundout and Mason Bland tied the game at 3-3 with an RBI base hit.
The Chargers took the lead in the sixth inning when Davis singled and went first-to-third on a groundout by Tanner. Davis scored on a wild pitch and gave Wayne Country Day the lead.
"Cole is a really smart baseball player and that run was huge for us," Taylor said. "He took an extra base getting to third and then as soon as he saw the ball get by the catcher he made a good read and scored."
Wayne Country Day added an insurance run in the sixth when Mason Bland singled and later scored on a productive groundout by Trent Proimos.
Neal earned the mound win with three sterling innings of relief that included five strikeouts. Davis pitched a perfect seventh inning for the save.
Wayne Country Day (6-6 overall) will face Wayne Christian today.
"I hope that today was another step in the right direction," Taylor said. "We have won four games in a row now so I hope that momentum carries into tomorrow's ballgame."
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