Hinkle’s sac fly clinches win

Published 5:22 pm Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Four days after laying an egg at Kannapolis, the Mocksville Legion baseball team got redemption at Rich Park. Post 174 held off Kannapolis 5-4 and it can credit pitcher Shawn Sealey and hitters Dan Loyd, Bryson Morrison, Hunter Daywalt and Tyson Hinkle, who knocked in the clinching run in the bottom of the seventh.

The win on June 5 evened Mocksville’s record at 3-3. Kannapolis, which stomped Mocksville 10-0 on June 1, stumbled to 5-3 with its third loss in a row.

“It was a big win for us, that’s for sure,” coach Tristan “Shaggy” Wyatt said.

Mocksville burst to a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the first. The rally began with two outs and nobody on, and it was helped by three walks and an error that allowed two runs. The only hit in the inning was a run-scoring single by Morrison.

Kannapolis chipped away, scoring one in the third, fourth and fifth to tie things at 4-4. When Kannapolis opened the seventh with a double, Wyatt was at a crossroads. Stick with Sealey or turn to the bullpen? The defining moment came before the next pitch, after Wyatt had visited the mound and dialed up a pickoff play.

“I looked at my assistants and said: ‘Should we leave Shawn in or take him out?’’ Wyatt said. “I had a reliever ready to go. They said: ‘No, we need to keep him in.’ I called time and went out there. The infielders were saying: ‘Don’t take him out.’ I said: ‘I’ve got this.’ After they got the double, they put in a courtesy runner, and I had been watching this courtesy runner all night. He was taking some pretty big leads. I said: ‘We’re going to get this guy on the very next play.’”

Sealey spun and fired to shortstop Hinkle, who tagged out the runner. Just like that, Kannapolis’ threat was squashed.

“That was the biggest play of the day,” Wyatt said.

In the last of the seventh, Mocksville’s bats went to work immediately and emphatically. Loyd led off with a single. Morrison beat out a bunt. Wyatt gave Daywalt the bunt sign. He failed to get one down, but what he wound up doing was even better – he beat out a chopper to short to load the bases with no outs. The next batter was Hinkle, who lifted a sac fly to right on an 0-2 pitch. Loyd scored easily to give Mocksville the win.

Meanwhile, Mocksville got a huge boost from Sealey, who scattered seven hits, allowed one earned run and walked none while striking out seven. How efficient was he? Sixty-two of his 88 pitches were strikes.

“I told you after the Mooresville game that he’s a good pitcher,” Wyatt said. “He keeps everything low, he’s got a good slider and curveball … he was on point today.”

Notes: Wyatt said Sealey benefited from good defensive plays from second baseman Andrew McAllister and third baseman Daywalt. … The offense was led by Morrison (2 for 3, walk) and Daywalt (2-4). Getting one hit each were Aundray Russell (1-3), Tyson Combs (1-4), McAllister (1-3, walk), Dakota Green (1-3, walk) and Loyd (1-3, two runs, walk).