HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL

BASEBALL: Stars late comeback overcomes Mounties

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NEW MARKET – A lead, and then a bigger lead, evaporated for Southmont baseball as they lost a 7-6, 11 inning game to Western Boone.

The Stars, who have won three of their last four, avenged a Tuesday loss to the Mounties and move to 4-17 on the season and move to 2-11 in the Sagamore Conference.

They scored five runs in the seventh inning to take a one-run lead, only to have South get the one run back in the home half of the seventh to send the game into extra time and under the lights.

A WeBo run scored in the top of the 11th was the difference.

The Mounties, who fall to 3-17 for the season, and finish league play at 1-13, scored in the first, added a run in the third and three more in the fifth to take a comfy lead, looking to sweep the Stars.

“I’m really proud of the effort of both our pitchers,” South coach Brad Wininger said of sophomores Adam Cox and Mason Hall, who walked only two and struck out 12.

Cox started and went into the seventh, when Hall came in, and the reliever eventually picked up the loss.

The issues for the pitchers were hit batters, as they hit four, including the first two of the seventh that started the five-run rally.

“When you get the leadoff guy on base, he scores about 75% of the time,” Stars coach Philip Webb said. “We got settled down after a rough start and started getting guys on base, and we needed guys on base any way. We got a couple hits after that and got some runs. We’ve won three of our last four games and a comeback like this helps turn the season around. It helps us set up for the sectional.”

The Stars seventh started with those two hit batters, was followed by a hit, and an RBI fielder’s choice. Then came three hits in a row, including a double, and from down 5-1, the visitors were up 6-5.

South kept the game alive in the bottom of the seventh when Chayce Howell singled, stole second and eventually scored on an error.

That also was the end of the line for WeBo starter Tyler Brunty, who gave way to freshman Bruce Kapriva. Kapriva got the last out of the seventh and finished the game, picking up the win.

South had taken the lead from the start, as Conner McKinney singled in the first and scored on a Nick Scott single.

In the third, after WeBo had tied the game in the top of the frame, Cox singled, stole second and came home on a Hall double.

In the fifth, Cox started things again, as the pitching  hero from Tuesday’s win singled. McKinney laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached on an error, and Howell bunted his way on. Hall then drove in a run as he reached on an error, which was followed by run-scoring singles off the bats of Caden Jones and Lee Whitecotton.

“He (Whitecotton) had three hits,” Wininger said of the sophomore. “That’s good production out of the designated hitter spot.” 

Both coaches said the extra innings pressure will help their young teams as they head into sectionals next week.

“It’s a momentum builder,” Webb said. “Winning games like this make you better in the tourney.”

Wininger would have like to add the win to the total, but saw the role of the close game.

“Nailbiters are good,” he said. “It helps keep you in the game and that nervous energy helps our younger players. Close games like this helps in the sectionals, where you’ll see sharper pitching.”

The Stars have Tri-West Friday before sectionals next week, while South travels to Riverton Parke next Monday ahead of the playoffs.

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