Govs score in 9th inning to beat LBW
The Wallace Govs appeared as though they had a comfortable lead. After all, they were up 4-0 and getting good starting pitching. But that early lead wasn’t enough as the LBW Saints rallied to pull even. Still the Govs managed to escape with the victory when they scored a run in the bottom of the ninth inning and won 5-4.
With the game tied 4-4 and both starting pitchers out of the game, LBW reliever Brady Eldridge began the bottom of the ninth inning by walking Josh Lambright. That set the wheels in motion for the Govs. Jack Bradford was called on to bunt Lambright into scoring position. Then the Govs number nine hitter, Tanner Emmons was hit by a pitch. That turned the line-up over, bringing Gov lead-off hitter Jake Brown to the plate. Brown didn’t have a hit all day, but in the biggest spot of the game, the Rehobeth product came through. Brown lined a solid single to center field. That plated Lambright with the game-winning run.
After the game, both head coaches had nothing but praise for Wallace starting pitcher Sawyer Betts.
“You have to tip your hat to Betts,” LBW coach Steve Helms said. “He got into a couple of jams but bowed his neck and kept us from scoring.”
“Sawyer pitched a really good game for us,” Wallace coach Mackey Sasser said. “He was tired before the game and I don’t think he wanted to pitch. But we didn’t have any choice but to go with him.”
Betts pitched into the eighth inning. When he came out of the game after throwing 99 pitches, he had only given up one run. But he was credited with three runs when Gov reliever Ti Inlow allowed three runs in that eighth inning, two of which were charged to Betts. Despite his setback, Inlow was awarded the win.
Lost in the Govs win was the pitching performance by LBW’s Kade Suther. As the Saints starter, Suther pitched eight complete innings and did give up for runs, but he too came away with a no decision.
The Govs scored two runs off Suther in the bottom of the second inning. John Hutto and Drew Eady both reached base on singles. After being bunted over by Troy Smith, both scored on a two-RBI single from Johnny Lambright.
The Govs tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Hutto singled and Eady was hit by a pitch. Both came home to score on a two-RBI single from Bradford. That gave Wallace a 4-0 lead.
LBW didn’t get on the scoreboard until the sixth inning. Despite having the bases loaded with no outs, Betts only gave up one run. That came on an RBI single from Conner Smith.
But in the eighth inning, Betts gave up a lead-off double to Blake Grill. He then walked Brandon Mayhann and was pulled from the game. That’s when Inlow came in. However Inlow promptly gave up a two-RBI triple to Conner Smith. Two batters later, Mason Rogers hit a sacrifice fly that tied the game.
“We had opportunities to put them away,” Sasser said. “But we couldn’t hit fly balls when we had the base loaded. Twice they turned double plays and got out of the inning. But we did do a lot of little things right today. We played good defense, and we got bunts down when we needed to.”
Even though his Saints lost, Helms said, “Our guys never gave up. We battled until the very end, and that’s all you can ask for.”
The Govs are now 12-6 in conference play while LBW is 7-10. The two teams will wrap up their three game series this Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at noon on the Wallace campus.