SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Junior American Legion team had a number of issues to deal with before its elimination game against Genoa on Tuesday.
Hot Springs Village appealed Monday night’s loss to Sheridan, there was a 3-hour rain delay and Sheridan was dealing with a depleted pitching staff.
Tad Daggett made everyone forget all three issues as he threw a complete-game 11-3 victory for Sheridan in the American Legion Zone 4 Junior Tournament.
Sheridan played Texarkana at 11 p.m. on Tuesday. The game was not completed at press time. If Sheridan won, it would play Texarkana again at 7 p.m. today for the district title. If Texarkana won, it would be the district champion.
Hot Springs Village protested Monday’s 7-6 loss, which the team had to forfeit due to using a pitcher that made his fourth appearance in three days. The pitcher, Chase Anderson, was brought in but did not throw an actual pitch. He just warmed up and American Legion officials ruled in favor of Hot Springs Village.
But since the team was not in Sheridan on Tuesday, Hot Springs Village coach Justin Gregory conceded the game to Sheridan.
“If I would have been protesting, I would’ve had my players lined up ready to play,” tournament director Mike Moore said. “When we told them that Genoa was here and Texarkana was coming in, their coach decided it wasn’t fair to them to ask them not to play at all tonight. It was a really sportsman-like gesture by coach Gregory.”
Daggett is a regular in Sheridan’s batting order, but he had not been used much as a pitcher this year. Sheridan coach Matt Weigand could not even remember the last time Daggett pitched.
“Extremely proud of him and that’s the first time in a while he has pitched,” he said. “He stepped up big for us.”
Daggett could not even remember when he pitched last, either. In the first inning, Daggett looked like a pitcher who had not thrown in a while.
Sheridan (22-11) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but Genoa (10-8) scored a run on a passed ball and a sacrifice fly for a 2-1 lead. Daggett threw 29 pitches in the first inning.
Daggett settled down though and only allowed three hits and one walk the rest of the way. He struck out three batters.
“I was just trying to locate and throw strikes and not overdo anything,” Daggett said. “The first inning, I was trying to overthrow and I just started throwing strikes and settled down after that.”
Daggett knew he had to go deep into the game because the pitching for Sheridan was starting to wear thin throughout the tournament. His arm started to hurt in the fourth inning, but he pitched through it.
“It was important to go as long as I could and my arm is hurting now,” said Daggett after the game. “It started tingling in the fourth or fifth inning. I wanted to finish it in the sixth inning and get it over with. We needed all the pitching we could get.”
After falling behind 2-1 in the first inning, Sheridan took the lead right back in the second inning with back-to-back RBI singles by Daggett and Chase Davis.
Sheridan extended the lead in the fourth inning on a throwing error by Genoa’s catcher that scored two and an RBI double by Lathan Wylie for a 6-2 lead.
Brandy Bibb and Daggett each drove in a run in the fifth inning and Bibb scored on an error to make it 9-2 Sheridan.
Genoa was able to get a run in the bottom of the fifth inning, but Sheridan added two more runs in the seventh inning. Genoa committed six errors and walked 10 batters in the game.
“That doesn’t work out very well in any baseball game,” Genoa coach Kevin Huff said. “Just not real pleased with the way we played.”