PLYMOUTH — Having your first at-bat mid-game isn’t an excellent state of affairs for a baseball participant. Having that probability come inside the bottom of the seventh in a tie sport is way more powerful.
Plymouth North senior Josh Bates was confronted with that exact state of affairs and he laced a line drive into left space to supply the Eagles a 6-5 victory over Patriot League rival Duxbury on Friday afternoon.
“I wasn’t actually anticipating to rise up so shortly,” Bates said. “Our four-hitter (George Slauson) is actually good, however they walked him, and it was my flip. I’ve had an excellent season on the plate, and I used to be assured I might win it.”
Bates, who entered inside the excessive half of the inning as a defensive substitute, couldn’t have been as unfastened as anyone who had carried out your complete sport, nonetheless Eagles coach Dwayne Follette knew his slugger was as a lot because the responsibility.
“For Bates to come back into the sport in that state of affairs and get that hit is big,” Follette said. “He’s second on the staff in hitting and I’m not shocked he got here by way of for us.”
The victory tasted sweet for the Eagles, nonetheless the state of affairs acquired right here after the group blew a three-run lead in the middle of the sooner two innings. The Dragons put two runs all through the board inside the opening inning, nonetheless 5 Eagle runs over the first two innings put them in an excellent place late.
Nevertheless, a mix of walks and hits put the gritty Dragons once more inside the sport, they normally virtually took a lead inside the excessive of the seventh. A leadoff single from Anthony Rabeni was adopted by two outs, nonetheless back-to-back walks to Conner O’Connell and Nick Ayres loaded the bases. That’s when Eagles pitcher Cody Quinn reared once more and induced a flooring ball to himself to get Plymouth North out of the inning.
“Once we walked Ayres with the bases loaded it put numerous strain on our pitcher,” Follette said. “For him to get an out on a 4-3 floor ball, that was an enormous state of affairs.”
The Eagles took this momentum and capitalized when Mark McKay hit an infield single. He reached second on a wild pitch sooner than advancing to third on a worthwhile bunt from Connor McKenzie.
“Having my three-hitter get a bunt down within the backside of the inning was large,” Follette said. “We haven’t performed actually good small ball all 12 months, and that play put numerous strain on Duxbury.”
This led to the stroll of Slauson and eventual game-winning hit from Bates.
“Put the bat on the ball, anyplace it goes is what you want,” Bates said. “I knew he was working on contact, so so long as I put the ball in play it was going to work out.”