Prep Baseball: No. 10 Danville defeats No. 15 Trinity in extra innings
Mason Stamm of Danville slides across home plate with the winning run as the ball gets away from Trinity catcher Brady Pfaadt during the ninth inning Saturday. Stamm scored on an error to give the 10th-ranked Admirals an 8-7 victory over the 15th-ranked Shamrocks. (Mike Marsee / April 7, 2012)
That’s what it took for them to eke out a win over Trinity in a battle of top-15 teams at Admiral Field. The 10th-ranked Admirals fell behind early but recovered quickly, then pushed across a run in the ninth inning to beat the 15th-ranked Shamrocks 8-7.
Mason Stamm scored on the only error of the game to give Danville a victory in its first game in seven days.
“We’d played one game in eight days, so we really were ready to go,” said Dowell Harmon, whose hard-hit grounder resulted in the error that allowed Stamm to score.
Danville (10-1) had been idle since March 31 after their entire spring break trip was rained out. The Admirals had been scheduled to play three games in Gatlinburg, Tenn., but they played less than three innings, so they had plenty of gas in the tank for a 3-hour, 14-minute game in which the first inning alone took 37 minutes.
Finally back in action, they survived a first-round knockdown when Trinity (3-6) scored four runs in the top of the first inning, responding with five runs of their own in the bottom of the inning and playing the Shamrocks to a virtual draw for seven innings.
“Coach wanted us to come out and jump on them early, and when they scored four runs in the first inning, we were like, ‘Oh, well,’” Harmon said. “We just kept going.”
Stamm started the winning inning by leading off the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk, then stealing second base. Harmon then hit the ball sharply, but it was almost directly at third baseman Sean Dageforde.
“They’re a good defensive team. I thought the only thing that might make something happen was that it was hit hard to his left,” Harmon said.
Dageforde tracked the ball down, but his throw sailed over the head of first baseman Sean Dageforde, sending Stamm around third and toward home. Dageforde’s throw to the plate was mishandled by catcher Brady Pfaadt as Stamm slid in safely.
It gave the Admirals a win that Morse said should give them some confidence.
“Any time you can beat a top-15 team, a school that size ... it gives some of your guys some confidence that they can beat a good team,” Morse said. “If you’re going to win a regional championship or a state championship or an All “A” (Classic) state championship, those are the kind of teams you have to beat.”
Danville had only seven hits, but Morse said this game might also have been an indication that the offense is starting to get untracked.
“We’ve been swinging the bats better. We hadn’t got to play in a week, but in batting practice and in the two innings we did get to play, we’ve had better at-bats,” he said. “I think our offense is finally starting to come around, and it’s good to see us hit the ball against good pitching.”
Stamm and Andrew Lasure had two hits each, and Rhodes Bell belted a first-inning grand slam to center field that wiped out Trinity’s 4-0 lead and put the Admirals up 5-4.
Stamm drove in a run with a double in the second inning, and Bell’s sacrifice fly in the fourth tied the game at 7-all.
Rob Caudill (3-1) earned the win by pitching four shutout innings in relief. He struck out eight batters and allowed one hit and four walks.
Starter Austin Baxter was knocked out in the first inning after giving up four hits, walking one batter and hitting another, and reliever Tyler Beldon allowed three runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Trinity 411 100 000 — 7 13 1
Danville 510 100 001 — 8 7 0
Yancey Prichett, Bobby Graven (3), Sean Dageforde (5), Alex Wilder and Brady Pfaadt, Erik Eaton (4), Pfaadt (8). Austin Baxter, Tyler Beldon (1), Rob Caudill (6) and Andrew Lasure. W—Caudill. L—Wilder. 2B—Connor Hill (T), Dageford (T), Mason Stamm (D), Lasure (D), Graven (T). HR—Rhodes Bell (D).