It’s the time of year when teams seeking that extra edge could use a signature moment or defining win.
Haughton potentially found both in a 5-4 come-from-behind, walk-off win over Byrd (17-9, 7-3 District 1-5A) Tuesday night. Pitcher Triston Carmack gave up just two earned runs and led off the seventh with a double down the right field line to set up Reid Wilson’s two-out RBI single when a bad bounce left sure-handed shortstop Zavier Moore left virtually no chance.
“I’m proud of my guys,” coach Glenn Maynor said. “Probably the last two games (we’ve had) some of the best at-bats we’ve had all year against two of the best pitchers, (Jonathan) Fincher and (Andrew) Suggs.”
Six runs against Fincher wasn’t enough after Byrd scored six runs in the sixth last Saturday for a 13-6 win. The Yellow Jackets took an early lead and erased another deficit on a three-base error to go ahead 4-3 in the fourth inning.
But Haughton (14-10, 4-4) managed to score a tying run thanks to an error, a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly before Suggs began to dominate in the fourth inning. He struck out six of the next seven hitters, including five in a row before Carmack stepped up to the plate at the bottom of the Buccaneers lineup.
“I’ve been struggling at the plate for a while now,” Carmack said. “I’ve been working on things and just got to put the ball in play.”
He limited Byrd to just three hits in seven innings, though one of those sailed over the right field wall for Zack Flash’s sixth home run of the season. Carmack nearly matched Suggs’ 10 strikeouts with eight of his own and didn’t issue any walks despite hitting three batters to give Haughton its most impressive victory since beating Sulphur 1-0 nearly a month ago.
Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets can once again blame costly errors for their third loss in four games heading into a tough two-game series with Captain Shreve. Haughton third baseman Kirkland Seals and right fielder Sammy Herren made some great defensive plays, but bad baserunning contributed to Byrd’s inability to find a go-ahead run for the third time.
Three losses in their first four District 1-5A games left the Buccaneers with little chance to catch defending champs Airline. But after two games against Southwood, Haughton will get two chances for another momentum-building win over the Vikings to close out the regular season.
That could make a huge difference considering the Bucs entered the day 25th in the latest power rankings. But perhaps even more important than seeding could be the effect of growing confidence for a suddenly dangerous lineup that refused to down easily to its higher rated opponent.
“It’s a huge boost considering they’ve got a lot of wins on their schedule,” Carmack said.
Airline run-rules Southwood
Cameron Parikh threw another gem and Airline’s offense broke out in an 11-1 win to complete a sweep of Southwood Tuesday night.
The Vikings (21-4, 7-1) scored nine runs in the first three innings to cruise to their 19th win in 21 games thanks to 11 hits and four Southwood (7-14, 1-7) errors. Parikh even added a double Jarrett Bamburg went 2-for-3 to help put the run-rule into effect after five innings.