JV baseball shocks Reagan in season finale

Published 12:57 pm Tuesday, June 8, 2021

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Davie’s JV baseball team desperately needed a game like this, and pitcher Ty Miller and the multi-hit offense of Craig McBride, Cooper Bliss, Connor Keaton, Bentley Moody and Rylan Koontz made sure Davie went out on a high note.

One day earlier, the War Eagles were smashed 14-4 in six innings at home against Reagan. It was their fifth Central Piedmont Conference loss in as many games and their worst defeat of the season.

One day later, there seemed little hope as Davie had to face Reagan again. But the rematch in Pfafftown was a far different story from the first meeting. Davie put it all together in the season finale and romped 8-2.

“I needed that and the boys needed to see some kind of satisfaction for their hard work,” coach Joey Anderson said. “It was a different bus ride back to the school. That’s the step forward that we want to build off of.”

In the mercy-rule loss at home on June 1, Davie was even with Reagan in hits (6-6), but it committed three errors and four of five pitchers combined for 13 walks. The only guy who had good stuff on the mound was Caleb Adkins, who struck out three in 1.1 scoreless innings.

“They’ve just got to learn how to be consistent,” varsity coach Bradley Rudisill said of the JV arms. “I can sit in the bullpen with all the guys and they can pound the zone. Having a normal offseason with them is going to be huge.”

The Raiders (6-4 overall, 4-3 CPC) pounced early and often, scoring five runs in the first and scoring in each of the first four innings. Davie was down 11-0 before it scratched.

Keaton (2 for 3, stolen base, walk) and Dane Porter (2-3, two runs) accounted for four of Davie’s six hits. Ian Koontz (1-1) and Max McKnight (1-1, RBI) had the other two. Parker Simmons had two of Davie’s seven walks, and he reached another time via a hit by pitch.

Davie 8, Reagan 2

Through the darkness of a five-game losing streak, including two by one run, the War Eagles kept the faith and came ready to play at Reagan on June 2.

What a way to close the season. Not only did they win, they won emphatically.

“This was the team I thought I was getting (at the beginning),” Anderson said. “We were climbing a hill all year. We had a lot of close games – one-run games or games we just couldn’t finish out. So I was really happy to see these guys fighting, put up a good lead and keep going with it.”

Miller had a lot to do with Davie’s first win since May 7 at Forbush. He got his first mound start of the season and man, was he ready. He worked 3.2 innings, only allowing two hits and one run, and struck out five. He did walk four, but Anderson wasn’t bothered by that because they mostly came in long at-bats.

“He threw great,” he said. “It was the second time I’ve pitched him. He was able to locate his curveball in and out and kept them offbalance. Most of his walks happened in long counts, where he was battling and they were battling and fouling off pitches.

“He was my starting center fielder, but he’s had to move around and fill in in different areas. He’s played shortstop. He’s a real good athlete. Do I think baseball is his No. 1 sport? Maybe not, but I think it could be. He could be special at it. He’s got a real good arm and he’s got speed.

“Ty was excited and the team was excited. He wanted the ball. He threw like a veteran.”

The impressive win was about more than just Miller. McBride and Adkins threw well in relief. McBride (3-3, walk), Bliss (2-4, two runs), Keaton (2-5, two RBIs), Moody (2-3), Koontz (2-4) and Lawrence Hancock (1-2, two walks, two runs) all reached base multiple times as Davie scored once in the first, four times in the second, twice in the fifth and once in the sixth.

Davie (2-8, 1-5) outhit Reagan 12-3.

“McBride kept his head down on it and was being aggressive,” Anderson said. “He wasn’t watching pitches. He wasn’t waiting until he got two strikes. He likes to work counts. Sometimes you need to work counts and sometimes you need to be aggressive.”

Nobody was more locked in offensively in the second half of the season than Moody.

“In the second half of the season, Bentley was definitely one of my offensive stars,” Anderson said.

The coach cited Porter’s work behind the plate. “He caught a real good game,” he said. “I was proud of him.”