Daywalt first JV to go yard at Davie

Published 9:07 am Thursday, March 24, 2022

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Before last week, two War Eagles had homered in the five-year history of Davie’s baseball field.

Carson Whisenhunt went deep in April of 2018 and March of 2019. Coy James, a varsity freshman, drove a pitch over the fence on March 2.

The list is short because the dimensions are massive: 330 feet down the lines, 365 in the alleys and 390 to center. Yep, the move from Mando Field to 180 War Eagle Drive ended any chance for a cheap homer.

A JV freshman became the third on March 15. Hunter Daywalt pulled a homer to left during an eventual 11-10 win over East Forsyth.

At this moment, there had been 35 varsity home games since 2018. There had been three Davie homers in that span, compared to eight triples. This was the 27th jayvee game at Davie since 2018, and Daywalt became the first JV player to go yard.

How cool is that?

“I had been waiting on him to do it,” said coach Sam Wyrick, whose team ended last week with a six-game winning streak. “I knew he had the power to do it and it was a no-doubter. It was shocking because JV players don’t usually hit it out here because it’s such a big field. That got the momentum swung back our way. It was one heck of an experience.”

The wild slugfest began with East scoring four runs in the top of the first. Davie answered immediately. Ty Goodson and Carson Queen ripped back-to-back triples. Then came Daywalt’s two-run homer. Craig McBride and Larson Stem followed with hits as Davie rallied to tie things at 4.

In the second, Daywalt and McBride had hits as Davie took a 6-4 lead. It was 6-6 after the top of the fifth, but two errors, a walk and a hit batsman helped Davie regain an 8-6 lead in the bottom half.

The seesaw action continued right to the end. In the top of the seventh, a three-run double keyed a four-run rally and a 10-8 lead for East.

In the bottom of the seventh, Davie reached deep and managed to escape. After Goodson and Queen reached, Bentley Moody had an opposite-field single to right to tie the game at 10. The pitcher beaned Daywalt and East intentionally walked Will Wands to load the bases with one out. Wyrick called for a squeeze bunt. It didn’t work, but Moody wiggled out of a rundown and scored on the catcher’s throwing error.

“They had a bad throw back to third,” Wyrick said. “We kind of got lucky, but I’ll take it.”

Davie got two hits from Goodson (2-4, three runs), Moody (2-4, double), Daywalt (2-4), McBride (2-5, two steals) and Stem (2-4). Wands drew three walks.

“There were ups and downs the whole game, but it was a fun one to be a part of,” Wyrick said. “Luckily, the bats were rolling. That’s the most hits (11) we’ve had, so I think everything is starting to click.”

Davie 8, EF 4

Davie completed the sweep of East in Kernersville on March 18.

It was 4-4 before Davie took the lead for keeps in the fifth. Gray Collins, the courtesy runner for Dane Porter, stole third and went home on a throwing error by the catcher.

With help from a walk, an error and a hit by pitch, Davie added insurance in the sixth. McBride sparked the three-run uprising with a bunt hit. The rally was capped by Daywalt’s two-run single.

Davie was able to overcome three errors because East committed twice as many.

“We played OK,” Wyrick said. “We played through some defensive mistakes and got key hits when we needed them. It wasn’t pretty, but we got it done.”

Tucker Hobbs was strong on the mound in a complete-game effort. All four East runs were unearned. “He did a great job,” Wyrick said.

Davie got two hits from Moody (2-3, walk) and McBride (2-4).

Davie 5, AC 4

For the third time in five days, the War Eagles walked on the edge of a knife. For the third time, they found a way to keep the winning streak alive, scoring the tiebreaking run in the seventh in a home nonconference game against Alexander Central on March 19.

For the longest time, it looked like Davie was going to cruise home. McBride worked five shutout innings, permitting just two hits and leaving with a 3-0 lead. Davie made it 4-0 in the sixth.

But the Cougars got off the deck in a noisy top of the seventh, scoring four runs on two hits, two walks and a hit batsman.

Undeterred, the War Eagles manufactured the clinching run in the bottom of the seventh. AC helped the cause by committing a one-out error on a McBride grounder and issuing a two-out walk to Wands. Then Chris Barringer was plunked by a pitch, loading the bases for Goodson, who jumped on the first offering and stroked a walk-off single.

Daywalt (2-3, walk) and McBride (2-3) had four of Davie’s seven hits, and Daywalt picked up the win in relief.

The lone loss for 6-1 Davie by one run to Carson.

“That team has some sparkplugs,” varsity coach Joey Anderson said. “They don’t give up easy. They’re not going to quit. They’re going to keep playing.”