JVs recover, win rematch against West Forsyth

Published 9:49 am Thursday, April 14, 2022

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

The first game against West Forsyth wasn’t the Davie JV baseball team’s finest hour. It had as many errors as hits. But boy, did the War Eagles respond, erasing a deficit in the sixth inning and riding Hunter Daywalt’s relief pitching to victory.

WF 6, Davie 3

The War Eagles didn’t have much to cheer about against visiting West on April 6. They had four errors and four hits and lost for the third time in four games.

Craig McBride (1-2, walk), Kason Stewart (1-3), Hunter Potts (1-3) and MJ Jacobs (1-1) had the only hits, with Jacobs’ base knock coming in the sophomore’s season debut after missing the first 10 games with an injury.

The War Eagles were playing catch-up all game, falling behind 3-0 in the top of the first. They got on the board in the fourth, when Stewart’s hit plated Carson Queen, but West answered with two in the fifth to make it 6-1. Potts and Jacobs had their hits in the fifth as Davie scored twice to cut the deficit to 6-3.

Davie tried to rally with two outs in the seventh. Chris Barringer reached on an error and McBride walked to bring the tying run to the plate. A caught stealing, though, ended the game.

The biggest bright spot was Daywalt, a freshman who has become a monster out of the bullpen. He gave up one unearned run in three innings.

Davie 4, WF 2

Davie played solid defense (one error to West’s three), made the most of three hits and pulled out a road win over the Titans April 8. It was perhaps the biggest win of the year against a team that had won 10 of 12.

West was also held to three hits against pitchers Tucker Hobbs and Daywalt. The game, though, did not start the way Davie wanted. In the bottom of the first, there were two walks before Davie committed a two-out error and fell behind 1-0.

But Davie manufactured the tying run in the third. Will Wands was hit by a pitch, advanced to second on a wild pitch and took third on a groundout. He scored when McBride’s bunt was errored.

Hobbs issued eight walks, but he minimized the damage and gutted his way through 4.1 innings. In the second, he worked around two walks and got help from catcher Dane Porter, who threw out guy trying to steal. In the third, Hobbs overcame a leadoff walk by getting the next three batters, including two on strikes. And in the fourth, he gave up a leadoff double but stranded the runner at third to keep the score 1-1.

“Tucker did an outstanding job,” coach Sam Wyrick said. “It was his best outing thus far.”

Trailing 2-1, Davie seized control in the sixth, with help from West. Porter reached on an error, Bentley Moody walked and Jacobs’ infield hit loaded the bases. Two runs scored when Larson Stem’s ball was errored. An insurance run scored on Stewart’s sac fly, giving Davie the 4-2 lead.

Queen (1-4), Porter (1-4) and Jacobs (1-2, HBP) had Davie’s hits.  “MJ is coming off an injury and has given us another bat in the lineup we feel very confident with,” Wyrick said. “(In the first game against West), he came in for a pinch-hit situation and delivered for us. We just couldn’t get rolling.”

The winning pitcher was Daywalt, who performed splendidly in relief. In the fifth, with Davie behind 2-1, he inherited a bases-loaded jam with one out. He struck out his first batter looking. He got the next man to fly out to left fielder Wands.

After allowing a single and a walk to start the West seventh, Daywalt got a strikeout on three pitches. A liner was snared by shortstop Stem. The other out came from Porter, who was a big part of Davie’s eighth win in 12 tries, throwing out his second runner  trying to steal a base.

“Dane was awesome behind the plate,” Wyrick said.

After shutting down West for 2.2 innings, Daywalt ran his record to 4-1 and lowered his ERA to an eye-catching 1.34 across 15.2 innings.

“Daywalt’s getting more comfortable with his role,” Wyrick said. “He’s been our closer guy and he’s handled it well coming into tough situations.”