Davie baseball rallies to start season with win

Published 11:38 am Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

With Davie ace pitcher Braeden Rodgers under the weather and unavailable for the baseball season opener on Feb. 27, Connor Berg had a big opportunity against perennial power Alexander Central.

The senior righthander answered the call.

Berg demonstrated damage control after the visiting Cougars took an early 4-0 lead, posting zeroes in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth and helping lead an 8-4 victory.

After making 14 relief appearances last year, Berg made his second varsity start. In six innings, he allowed five hits and one earned run.

“I was without two starters and Hunter Potts filled in well (at third base for sick Coston Colamarino), especially since he hasn’t been working at third,” coach Joey Anderson said. “Hunter had a huge bunt to make the bases loaded.”

Davie won on a day when five guys made their varsity debuts: Carson Queen, Kason Stewart, Potts, Craig McBride and reliever Parker Davis. Two more guys who were bit parts last year – MJ Jacobs and Will Wands – were in the lineup. It was a lot to ask, but Davie found a way to overcome the sizeable deficit and win going away.

“It was a very good team win,” Anderson said.

Central put up three runs in the top of the second to make it 4-0.

“We had a couple of errors that helped them get the runs,” Anderson said. “It was new for a lot of people, and I think nerves were pretty high.”

Davie chipped away, cutting the margin in half in the third. After two walks, Queen knocked in one with a hit.

The top defensive play came in the Central fourth. After a two-out walk, a Cougar singled to right field. Cooper Bliss promptly showed off his gun as the runner tried to go from first to third. Bliss rifled the throw to Potts for the third out.

“Cooper threw a guy out at third by a mile to get out of an inning,” Anderson said. “We were behind at that point; that changed everything for us. It was like a bullet and Hunter was just waiting on him.”

Davie’s offense caught fire in the fourth. A walk was followed by a Jacobs double. Then Wands tied it with a two-run single. After Queen singled, Coy James scored on a wild pitch to give Davie a 5-4 lead.

The War Eagles attained some breathing room in the fifth, when they racked up three more runs.

Queen (2-4) and Stewart (2-3, walk) had two knocks each as Davie outhit Central 8-5. Davie got one hit from Drew Krause (1-3, walk), Potts (1-2, two walks), Jacobs (1-3) and Wands (1-2, three RBIs, walk). James scored two runs and McBride reached base twice.

“We swung the bats well up and down the lineup,” Anderson said. “MJ had a big hit with runners in scoring position.”

Davis got the ball in the seventh. He issued two walks but worked around them.

“He’s really impressed all of us at practice,  so we know it’s there,” Anderson said of Davis.