According to JV Fighting Scots coach Michael Sellers, a back-and-forth game like Tuesday’s home-field battle with Pinecrest is exactly what his team needed.
“We didn’t play good defense, and we failed to capitalize on a ton of opportunities in the middle innings,” he said. “But we kept our composure and overall I’m really pleased with this comeback win, it really helps us.”
There were five different lead changes during the Fighting Scots 5-4 win over Pinecrest in a game that Scotland nearly let slip away. Though Pinecrest scored all four of its runs in the third inning against Scotland starting pitcher H.B. Stone, only one of those runs was earned, as a fielding error resulted in two Patriots runners crossing the plate.
Scotland’s offense got off to a hot start with a go-ahead home run from the bat of Brandon Gibson in the bottom of the second inning. However, the Fighting Scots couldn’t maintain their momentum and subsequently stalled in the third, fourth and fifth innings. But in relief of Stone, pitcher Dylan Ward finished the game with four scoreless innings of work, stifling the Patriots’ bats with four strikeouts and no walks allowed.
Ward’s work from the mound kept the Fighting Scots within striking distance until a crucial sixth inning helped seal the victory. Starting the inning with consecutive walks to put Gibson and Trae Revels on base, Sam Grey hit an RBI double which advanced Revels to third, and on the next at-bat, a successful suicide squeeze orchestrated by Kenneth Leggett tied the game at four runs a piece. A run-scoring single from Jaylend Ratliffe, who was 2-3 in the game, completed the offensive explosion in the sixth inning to secure the come-from-behind win for the Fighting Scots.
With the win, the JV Fighting Scots move to 16-1 on the season.
“A win like that is something special, especially getting the chance to enjoy it on our home field with our fans cheering us on,” Sellers said.