SHERIDAN — The Watson Chapel Wildcats and the Sheridan Yellowjackets needed more than seven innings to decide a winner.
Sheridan won 8-7 in walk-off fashion in eight innings at the Sheridan Invitational baseball tournament on Monday.
“We’ve been struggling (with our hitting),” Sheridan head coach Mike Moore said. “We strung our hits together more. In the last inning … we just had some really big clutch hits in the last couple of innings there.”
After neither team scored a run, Chapel added a run in the top half of the eighth inning when Landen Colson hit an RBI single through the left side. Sheridan responded in the bottom half of the inning with two runs and the game-winning hit coming off the bat of Wylie who knocked an RBI single through the right side.
The game couldn’t have started any better for Watson Chapel (2-1) or worse for Sheridan (2-2) as the Wildcats jumped out to a quick lead in the first inning. A walk and two singles loaded the bases for Chapel’s Jaylon Jackson, who then connected with a two-RBI double to center field. An error in the infield allowed another run to score and a sacrifice fly from Chris Williams gave Chapel a 4-0 lead.
“We kind of jumped out there early and just didn’t do some fundamental things,” Watson Chapel head coach Chad Cope said. “We did some good things and it’s early. We still got some things we got to work on. Sheridan’s a good club.”
Chapel went on to add another run in the second when Justin Pierce hit an RBI double to score Colson from second base. Sheridan responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning when David Vilchers hit an RBI single to make the score 5-1 and later added another run in the third inning to cut Chapel’s lead to three.
Sheridan starting pitcher Tyler McKinzie had a rough outing while lasting just two innings, allowing five hits and five runs (two earned) with a walk and a strikeout.
“He just wasn’t really on (Monday),” Moore said of McKinzie. “They were really hitting him well. He normally keeps them off balance, but I knew when he had over 30 pitches in that first inning, he just didn’t have it.”
Chapel’s Jackson started for the Wildcats and finished with four innings pitched while allowing three hits and two runs (both earned) with three walks and four strikeouts.
“He got his pitch count high,” Cope said of Jackson. “He did well, but at 70 pitches, I’m shutting them down. I told them I don’t care if you’re at 70 pitches and throwing a no-hitter, you’re out. Our kids know they are on a pitch limit. You don’t win a state championship in the second week of March.”
After Chapel added a run in the sixth inning, Sheridan exploded with four runs in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game. With runners at first and second, a balk called on relief pitcher Bernard Black put runners on second and third with one out. After a sacrifice fly cut the lead in half at 6-3, Hunter Strong roped a first-pitch fastball into the gap in right-center field to score another run. Evan Thompson and Lathan Wylie went on to add back-to-back RBIs to tie the game at 6-6 heading into the seventh inning.
Sheridan relief pitcher Tyler Raney earned the win for the Yellowjackets finishing with six innings pitched while allowing seven hits and two runs (one earned) with no walks and seven strikeouts. Black took the loss with four innings pitched while allowing eight hits and six runs (all earned) with three walks and two strikeouts.
The Wildcats were led at the plate by Colson, who finished 3 for 5 with two runs scored and two RBIs. The Yellowjackets were led by Wylie, who went 3 for 4 with a run scored and two RBIs.
Sheridan 14, Dollarway 4
SHERIDAN — The Yellowjackets used a six-run fourth inning to pull away from the Cardinals to win 14-4 in six innings at the Sheridan Invitational.
The Cardinals had some good plays and trailed just 3-1 at the end of the third inning, but they couldn’t overcome the powerful offense from the Yellowjackets.
Dollarway was led at the plate by Don Reed, who was 2 for 3 with an RBI, and Keshun Cross who ended up 2 for 2 with a walk and two RBIs. Hunter Strong finished 3 for 3 with a walk and four RBIs and Tyler Allen went 1 for 2 with two walks and two RBIs to lead Sheridan.
The winning pitcher from Sheridan was Brady Bibb while Tony Freeman took the loss for the Cardinals.