Missed dive gives Eagles win
With the game tied up, 6-6, Washington just needed to keep Dunlap from scoring in the bottom of the sixth.
With Blake Abbott getting on base after a walk, Daniel Clements hit a shot down the left field line. The fielder dove for the ball, missing it by about a glove-length. This allowed Abbott to score from first and gave Clements a double.
The Eagles would eventually score two more in the sixth to go on to win, 9-7.
“You can’t do that in that situation,” Washington head coach Kyle Wisher said about the dive. “You just got to play it into a single and keep it at first and second. As soon as that ball gets by you, it allows the runner on first to score. That’s just a bad baseball play. You have to know the situation of when to dive and when not to dive.”
The Panthers started off the scoring in the third inning after a bunt advanced two runners to second and third, and a fielder’s choice scored the first run. Catcher Zach Little hit a two-run home run to give Washington a three-run lead.
After Washington got one more run in the fourth, the Eagles came alive in the bottom of the inning.
After getting two men on with two outs, a single by Abbott and double by Clements helped score three runs. It was the home run by Brandon Drum that changed the momentum of the game, though.
“We had a few guys break out today and it paid off for us,” Dunlap head coach Rod Hatch said.
By the time the dust settled and the Eagles batted around the line-up, the team had a 6-4 lead.
The Panthers managed to get two runs off a double and sacrifice fly to tie the game up at 6-all in the top of the fifth. After holding Dunlap scoreless in the bottom of the inning, Washington had another chance to score in the sixth.
Mason McCoy got on with a single and went to second on a wild throw. While Wisher waved him around, he stayed at second base. Eventually, he would be picked off while trying to steal third.
“He just didn’t pick me up on the way to second, like a base-runner should, and he just didn’t see me wave him over,” Wisher said.
In the bottom of the inning, the Eagles would score the three runs they needed to go ahead for the win, including the RBI off the missed dive.
“I think anytime you can take advantage of a situation like that it definitely helps morale,” Hatch said. “But, I’ll be honest, these guys are hard-headed. They don’t give up, no matter what the situation.”
Nick Mangieri picked up the win for the Eagles, getting two strikeouts and a walk. Clements earned a save in the seventh with two strikeouts and a walk.
Getting the loss for the Panthers was Ryan Grebner, who gave up the home run to Drum in the fourth and faced just one more batter before being taken out. Josiah Rose started the game and pitched 3 2/3 innings.
“Washington’s a good team,” Hatch said. “Obviously, to get a win like that was huge for us. We needed it.”
Dunlap also picked up a win on Monday at home against Metamora, 6-2.
After giving up a run in the third inning, Dunlap tied the game up, 1-1, in the fifth before scoring their final five runs in the sixth.
Logan Schrader hit a home run for the Eagles (7-6, 2-3), while picking up the win at pitcher with five strikeouts and a walk.
The Eagles get back into action today at Metamora, before going to the Pleasant Plains Tourney on Friday and Saturday. The team then travels to Canton on Monday.