Richard Winn Eagles snag close region win

WINNSBORO- Richard Winn squeaked out a 7-6 region opening win Friday night against King Academy. It took everything the Eagles had to cling onto the win, including surviving a bases-load jam with zero outs, in the final inning.

Chris Christianson makes his way to third base after a King wild pitch loaded the bags. Christianson went onto score on an error.

“It was tough,” Eagles’ head coach Paul Brigman said. “They had their best pitcher on the mound, and we felt fortunate to get that one run to put us back ahead, and I thought we were re about to give it back up but our guys showed a lot of heart and didn’t give in.”

King jumped out to an early advantage on Richard Winn, but the lead flopped back and forth all night. A walk and an early error set-up King’s Hunter Dubose for a two-RBI double, and Dubose nearly scored, but instead he and Eagles’ catcher Peyton Gilbert had a scary collision at the plate, that resulted in Dubose’s out.

The jarring hit sent Gilbert airborne, but he popped back-up without much hesitation. “It was a little bit nerve racking considering out depth at catcher but he’s a tough kid, and I knew it would take a lot to get him out of there,” Brigman said.

Richard Winn did not face that two-run deficit for very long. After an error at first cost King two runs and the lead, a Jimmy McKeown infield single loaded the bases up for Will Carvalho, and Carvalho drove in two on a hard base-knock.

Zack Taylor, the Eagles’ starter, struck-out the side in the second inning, but King put up another run in the third, when Will Parrish hit a double, and then scored via a wild pitch. King’s, Reagan Pugh started the fourth inning with a single that ricocheted off of Zack Taylor’s shin.

The Knights followed the Pugh single with a couple of ground-outs in a row, but they did manage to bring Pugh home on the grounders. An error allowed Jackson Parrish to reach for the second time in the game, and Chris Fincher followed him to the base-path, after being hit by a pitch.

Will Parrish, knocked in a second run for King in the inning, and an error at first-base notched another score for the Knights, and they took a 6-4 lead. King could not hold onto the lead for long, because in the bottom of the fourth, they allowed the Eagles to fill the bases up again, and yet again they gave-up two runs on another error.

Four innings into the ballgame the teams were deadlocked at six, and things stayed that way until the bottom half of the sixth inning. The sixth kicked off with Peyton Gilbert taking a base, after being struck by a pitch.

Brandon Miller followed him-up, and laid a sac-bunt that brought Gilbert over to second. Zack Taylor came to the plate with two outs, and Gilbert still on second, and picked up his third hit of the night, and the go ahead RBI.

“It was huge,” Brigman said. “We’ve been waiting on that for several ball games. We’ve put ourselves in those positions where we could execute, and the last few games we haven’t really been able to pull that off, and tonight it finally felt good to execute the right way, and get the job done.”

The Taylor RBI meant King had only three outs remaining to tie the game-up or take the lead back. An error, and back-to-back walks set the Knights up with the bases loaded, zero outs and down just one.

Reagan Pugh came-up to the plate, hit a grounder and the Eagles forced out the runner at home. Ben Buzhardt came up next, needing only a base-hit or sac-fly to tie the game up, but he hit into a grounder too, and the Eagles were able to squeeze the runner out at home.

That meant Joe Sauls was the last hope for the Knights, and as the third-base runner began to creep down the line, Sauls laid down a bunt, but Richard Winn scooped it and got Sauls at first base, securing the 7-6 win.

‘This has definitely been one of our best games,” Brigman said. “It’s a region game, it makes us 1-0 in the region, so it was a little more important than some of the other games we played, so I thought they responded well and I’m proud of them
RWA:  4-0-0-2-0-1-7

KA: 2-0-1-3-0-0-0-6

Hitting: 1B- Chris Christianson, Zack Taylor (2), Peyton Gilbert, Jimmy McKeown, Will Carvalho (RWA); Reagan Pugh (2), Ben Buzhardt(KA). 2B- Peyton Gilbert, Zack Taylor (RWA); Will Parrish (2), Hunter Dubose (KA).

Pitching: (RWA) Zack Taylor (W), 5IP, 6H, 6R, 3ER, 4K, 4BB. Ethan McManus (S), 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0ER, 0K, 2BB. (KA) Hunter Dubose, 3.1 IP, 6H, 6R, 3ER, 5K, 1BB, 3HB. Will Parrish (L) 3.2 IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 3K, 2BB.

LOB: KA- 9, RWA- 6