Watson Chapel scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to rally from a four-run deficit and defeat conference rival White Hall 12-10 Thursday night at home.
“That was a big win for our kids,” Watson Chapel head coach Chad Cope said. “We didn’t play our best ball game and we made some errors uncharacteristic of us. Credit them for putting the pressure on us.
“Our kids did a good job of battling.”
Landen Colson and Jacob Owen led off the sixth with back-to-back walks. Jordan Stargell was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Justin Pierce hit an infield single to plate one run and cut the deficit to 9-6.
Trevor Lankford reached after White Hall’s catcher was called for interference, which scored Owen from third.
Cameron Banks followed a three-run triple to the corner in right field to give the Wildcats a 10-9 lead.
“Cameron has been struggling at the plate,” Cope said. “I’m not saying that to be mean because he knows it. He’s one of our better hitters.
“That’s a senior stepping up in a big time position.”
Back-to-back walks to Josh Dardenne and Jalyn Jackson loaded the bases with one out. An error allowed Banks to score and Colson hit a RBI single to plate Dardenne from third to give Chapel (9-3, 4-0 in 5A South) a 12-9 lead.
“Two good teams playing out here,” White Hall head coach Skip Carr said. “We had a bad inning and against a quality team like that, you can’t give up seven runs and expect to win.
“We just dug ourselves into too big of a hole late and couldn’t recover.”
White Hall scored a run in the top of the seventh inning after a wild pitch allowed Percy Arnold to score from third.
Banks is credited with the win for Watson Chapel after pitching 3 1/3 and allowing three runs on four hits with four strikeouts and no walks. He was also 2 for 3 with three RBIs, a run and a walk.
Before beginning of the top of the seventh, Banks was showing signs of cramping. But he sent Cope away after he came out there to check on him.
“I went out there and he said he was finishing,” Cope said. “It was his game to finish. When your pitcher tells you that, that’s what I want to hear.
“I don’t want one to flip me the ball.”
White Hall (6-2, 3-1 in 5A South) sophomore Daniel Sprinkle is credited with the loss after allowing five runs on one hit with two walks and one strikeout.
“He just never really seemed to feel comfortable out there,” Carr said. “But this is a good experience for him.
“We are expecting big things from him. He’ll learn from this and he’ll be fine.”
Watson Chapel scored four runs in the third inning to take a 4-3 lead thanks in large part to a pair of RBI doubles from Landon Reed and Austin Lewis.
“It is a long conference season,” Cope said. “It is always a big game, cross-town rivalry.
“We’ve got 10 more conference games and this is one of these conference where it is pretty tough.”
Watson Chapel took a 3-0 lead in the first inning when Owen hit a three-run double. Dardenne led off the inning with a single, Jackson reached on a walk and Colson loaded the bases after being hit-by-a-pitch.
Owen’s double cleared the bases but he was left stranded at third after Chapel had loaded the bases again.
Dardenne is credited with a no-decision after allowing seven runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings of work. He also struck out three and walked two.
For White Hall, Tyler Carr is credited with the no-decision after allowing five runs on four hits with six walks and three strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
Chapel also scored a run in the third and a run in the fifth. White Hall scored three in the fourth and two in the fifth.
For White Hall, Reed was 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles, a RBI, and three runs scored. Tanner Attwood was 2 for 4 with a run scored. Arnold had just one hit but he scored three times. Austin Lewis was 1 for 4 with a double, a walk and two runs scored.
For Chapel, Dardenne was 2 for 4 with two runs scored. Jordan Stargell was 1 for 3 with a walk, a double and two runs scored.
Watson Chapel will host Magnolia on Tuesday and White Hall will play Sheridan on Monday.