Pace baseball holds No. 1 spot in 1-7A

Pace baseball holds No. 1 spot in 1-7A

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Pace baseball holds No. 1 spot in 1-7A

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Austin Pugh leads off second while Tate SS Branden Fryman awaits the pitch.

Austin Pugh leads off second while Tate SS Branden Fryman awaits the pitch.

Tate’s Jake Davis readies himself for a pitch during Wednesday’s game vs. Pace.

Tate’s Jake Davis readies himself for a pitch during Wednesday’s game vs. Pace.

Tate’s Logan Blackmon and the rest of the infield warm up in between innings of Wednesday’s game vs. Pace.

Tate’s Logan Blackmon and the rest of the infield warm up in between innings of Wednesday’s game vs. Pace.

Pace starting pitcher Vito Orlando delivers a pitch during Wednesday’s game at Tate.

Pace starting pitcher Vito Orlando delivers a pitch during Wednesday’s game at Tate.

Pace starting pitcher Vito Orlando holds down the mound during Pace’s win over Tate on Wednesday.

Pace starting pitcher Vito Orlando holds down the mound during Pace’s win over Tate on Wednesday.

Pace’s Dalton Childs and Tate’s Mason Land have a chat at first base during Wednesday night’s game at Tate.

Pace’s Dalton Childs and Tate’s Mason Land have a chat at first base during Wednesday night’s game at Tate.

Chase Beckstrom awaits a hit-an-run scenario from first base during Wednesday night’s game at Tate.

Chase Beckstrom awaits a hit-an-run scenario from first base during Wednesday night’s game at Tate.

Chase Beckstrom leads off second base while Tate SS Branden Fryman watches.

Chase Beckstrom leads off second base while Tate SS Branden Fryman watches.

The Patriots celebrate their fierce comeback in the sixth inning.

The Patriots celebrate their fierce comeback in the sixth inning.

Pace stunned Tate in the closing innings to win 9-5 and grab No. 1 spot in District 1-7A.

Pace stunned Tate in the closing innings to win 9-5 and grab No. 1 spot in District 1-7A.

Tate’s Cole Halfacre (left) and Jake Davis strategize mid-inning during Wednesday’s game vs. Pace.

Tate’s Cole Halfacre (left) and Jake Davis strategize mid-inning during Wednesday’s game vs. Pace.

Daniel Lemay’s HR ball cleared the left-center wall and stopped the bleeding and cut Tate’s lead to 5-1. The Patriots beat Tate 9-5.

Daniel Lemay’s HR ball cleared the left-center wall and stopped the bleeding and cut Tate’s lead to 5-1. The Patriots beat Tate 9-5.

Until the final two innings of play, it appeared Tate would defend home with a win over Pace and would hold the No. 1 spot in District 1-7A.

But the Pace Patriots — who won 9-5 — and Chase Beckstrom had alternate plans.

“I felt like we competed all night long,” Pace coach Jason McBride said. “Tate jumped on us early (5-0 lead) but our guys stayed in the game and kept battling. I felt like we were one hit away from closing the gap, and in the sixth we came up with that big hit.”

The Pace Patriots rallied in the final two innings to stun Tate with a 9-5 win and take the No.1 spot in District 1-7A

The Pace Patriots rallied in the final two innings to stun Tate with a 9-5 win and take the No.1 spot in District 1-7A

In the top of the sixth, after Vito Orlando singled to score Jason Barlow, Beckstrom approached the plate with the bases loaded.

Beckstrom smacked a hard ground ball down the third base line, as Orlando, Daniel Lemay and Dalton Childs crossed the plate and tied the game 5-5.

“I knew the hit was in bounds, but I wasn’t sure if Lemay was going to be able to score from first,” Beckstrom said. “That was big for him to score from there. I knew he had a chance and I’m glad he did.

“This team (Pace) is an exciting team. Especially when we get up like that … we’re not gonna stop. It was a slow game for us at first, but as soon as things started rolling we were ready to go.”

The Aggies failed to score in the sixth and seventh, but in the final inning Andrew Bates led off for Pace with a double.

After a nicely executed bunt by Barlow and a errid throw out attempt, Bates reached home to give Pace it’s first lead of the night and produce the final lead change of the game.

Orlando then doubled to grab two more RBIs, followed by Beckstrom who plated a run with a single.

The win gives the Patriots the No. 1 spot currently in District 1-7A, and they will face Tate Friday before two district meetings with Escambia to conclude district play.

Pace’s Ashton Stephens delivers a pitch during Pace’s 9-5 win over Tate on Wednesday night.

Pace’s Ashton Stephens delivers a pitch during Pace’s 9-5 win over Tate on Wednesday night.

“That’s a huge boost of momentum,” McBride said. “Anytime you can come back and win a game against Tate, that’s a big boost for our guys.”

Tate’s Jake Davis (5 IP, 6H, R, ER, 6K, HR) contained the Patriots to one run through five innings of work, ending three innings with a strikeout with a runner on base.

“He (Davis) pitched well tonight,” McBride said. “Tate is a scrappy team. They make all the plays and you’ve gotta earn everything you get from them. It’s a big boost for our guys to get (a district win) here at Tate.

“If you are not ready for Tate, they are fixin’ to run you out of the ball park. We’re gonna be ready for Friday night and I guarantee you Tate will be ready.”

The Patriots host Tate in game No. 2 on Friday at 6 p.m.

“(Wednesday night) was a big win,” Beckstrom said. “Tate is a good and confident ball team. I’m glad we beat ‘em, but we are staying in it. We’re not gonna get big headed. We’re gonna come out with the same intensity Friday and try to do it again.”

What’s next?

Who: Tate Aggies vs. Pace Patriots

What: District 1-7A contest

When: 6 p.m. Friday

Where: Pace High School

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Pace baseball holds No. 1 spot in 1-7A
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