WHITE HALL — A late rally in the fifth inning proved to be enough as the White Hall Bulldogs held off the Watson Chapel JV Wildcats in a 6-5 semifinal win in the Billy Bock Classic on Friday night.
“We were lucky in the first few innings that (Watson Chapel) didn’t score more runs than they did,” White Hall head coach Skip Carr said. “They left a lot of guys on early and it just wasn’t our day as far as pitching goes.”
The Bulldogs used three pitchers in the game as the JV Wildcats gave White Hall (3-1) all it could handle. The Wildcats stranded nine runners throughout the night.
Daniel Gray earned the win for the Bulldogs as he finished with three innings pitched while giving up two hits and allowing one run (earned) with no walks and five strikeouts.
“(Gray) came in and did a great job,” Carr said. “The other guys have thrown well for us this year but it wasn’t their best game (Friday).”
With the Bulldogs trailing 4-2 in the top of the fifth inning, Carr went to the bullpen and put in Gray, who came in to get a quick three-up and three-down. The Bulldogs then begin their rally with the top of the order.
A single and an error allowed the Bulldogs to have two men on with nobody out. Kirk Baugh then connected on a two-RBI single to left field to tie the game at 4-4. After Baugh stole second, a single by Turner Sparks put runners on the corners. An RBI double by Dylan Quickel gave White Hall a 5-4 lead and Caleb Carr later added an RBI single to extend the lead to 6-4.
The JV Wildcats wouldn’t go down quietly as they tried to mount a comeback in the seventh inning. After a strikeout and a ground out, Cecil Roberts extended the game when he was hit by a pitch. A single to left field from Austin Rushing put two Wildcats on and both advanced when a balk was called on Grey. A high chopper to the second baseman allowed Roberts to score and cut the lead to 6-5, but a strikeout looking ended the Wildcats’ upset bid.
The Bulldogs had some missed opportunities to score some more runs as they left seven men stranded throughout the game and Carr said it’s been a work in progress.
“We didn’t do a good enough job of hitting with runners in scoring position,” Carr said. “Hopefully we get the right combination in before conference starts and get that fixed, but we’re working on it.”
White Hall was led at the plate by Caleb Carr, who finished 3 for 3 with an RBI. Baugh had a productive night ending 2 for 4 with three RBIs and a run scored, while Quickel added a 2-for-3 showing with an RBI.
The Watson Chapel JV was led by Scott Taylor, who went 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI.
White Hall advanced to face either Pine Bluff for the Billy Bock Classic championship today at Taylor Field.
“This is our third year in a row we have made the finals,” Carr said. “We won it last year and we talked about getting back there this year. Now that we are back there, we want to win it.”