Tasked with facing the top of the Robert F. Munroe lineup that had already hit him well earlier in the game, Maclay sophomore pitcher Max McKinley needed three outs for a win.
While Bobcats catcher Myles Edwards stayed hot, McKinley bore down and got the final outs with two fly balls and a ground out to second base, giving Maclay a come-from-behind 5-4 victory on senior day on Wednesday.
“I was trying to get them to hit ground balls and have my team make the plays,” McKinley said. “I was able to throw one outside and (the batter) rolled over it and my second baseman got it.”
Maclay (8-11) picked up a run in the first inning on Bobby Nylen’s single to plate leadoff hitter J.T. LaVia, who had doubled. Munroe (18-5) responded with three runs in the fourth with a hit from Stephen Miller (2 for 4), who scored from first when Edwards found the left field gap. Edwards and Brad Klees scored when Kyle Skipper chopped a ball up the middle for a two-run hit with the bases loaded.
Edwards’ home run to right in the fourth gave the Bobcats a 4-2 lead, which they thought would hold before walks and fielding miscues came back to haunt them.
“Late in the year, baseball is played between the ears,” Munroe coach Jayme Williams said. “We know we have the skills, the tools, the talent, but it’s on the kids and coaches — mental mistakes.”
Wynne Casteel recorded two hits and Lucas Briggs provided two RBIs for the Marauders, who scored three in the sixth after loading the bases with no outs and plating the comeback runs with only two soft hits.
“The little things that you talk about in the cage, in between pitches, getting the guy over, two-strike at-bats, early in the year we didn’t understand it,” Maclay coach Drew Sherrod said. “They may have comprehended the information, but they couldn’t apply it. Now, they’ve completely bought in and done those things we’ve been preaching about. And it’s really cool. This is as fun of a baseball season as I’ve had coaching.”