The first half inning of Tuesday’s Two Rivers 3A Conference baseball bout with Cleveland felt very familiar for Corinth Holders.
Five days after one tough inning cost the Pirates a game at South Johnson, Corinth Holders was quickly in a four-run hole.
The feeling didn’t last. The Pirates (5-5, 2-1) scored the game’s final nine runs – including three in its half of the first inning to squelch any momentum on the Rams’ side – and grabbed a 9-4 victory.
“We’ve talked about that South Johnston game since Friday,” said Corinth Holders coach Adam Weaver. “Tonight we responded quickly enough that we didn’t let it set in and affect the rest of the game.”
The Pirates’ bullpen of Tyler Brown, Tate Proctor and Jake Lewis held the Rams scoreless over the final 6 2/3 innings.
Offensively, Corinth Holders rolled up 15 hits and took advantage of five Cleveland errors, many of which came when trying to rush plays to counter the Pirates’ aggressive approach on the base paths.
“Things happen,” Weaver said. “But we thought we played better tonight, played decent defense. The younger guys picked the older guys up on the mound.
“And at the plate, except for about three or four times, I thought we did our jobs at the plate. We ran the bases well and were aggressive on balls in the dirt.”
The first six batters in the Pirate order – Bobby Beare, Oakley Wallrich, Tyler Barritt, Nick Peach, Lewis and Adam Evans – produced 14 hits on the night. Evans led the way with a 4-for-4 effort, which included three doubles.
“I felt like we came back with an aggressive approach as a team. It’s just contagious sometimes,” Evans said. “Somebody starts to hit the ball well and it builds confidence in the rest of the team.”
Beare and Wallrich reached to start Corinth Holders’ first inning and Barritt and Peach followed with RBI hits. Peach’s single to left scored two runs and quickly the Pirates were back in the game.
“We couldn’t have asked to come out of the gate any better,” said Cleveland coach Jamie Lee. “But we quickly started to get behind in counts and you’re not going to be successful getting in 2-0 and 3-1 counts.”
Wallrich tied the score with an RBI double in the second, and Corinth Holders went ahead on two run-scoring fielder’s choices in the third. Lewis added an RBI single in the fourth, Wallrich singled in another run in the fifth and Evans doubled home a run in the sixth to wrap up the scoring.
Wallrich was 3-for-3 on the night. Peach, Lewis and Beare had two-hit nights.
Cleveland built its short-lived lead after singles by Tyler Keenan, Chase Jackson and Avery Dean with nobody out. Three walks brought in two more runs before the Pirates let a pop up by Matt Noble fall in the infield to score the fourth run.
The Rams (4-7, 1-2) stranded a total of nine base runners in their final six at bats, including three in the third. Jackson and Noble had two hits each for the Rams.
“Our biggest thing right now is that we’re not mentally tough,” Lee said. “It felt like we were down 10-0 when they had just cut it to 4-3 after the first inning. We can’t let small things hurt us. We’ve just got to get sharper mentally.”