Leesville Road pitcher Jared Leins saw something different from Millbrook’s third base coach in the seventh inning as pinch runner Matt Rouse took his lead.
“I was actually looking over at his signs and saw that he switched it up,” Leins said. “He threw some extra signs on that play and I knew (Rouse) was going to go. So, I was lucky to get him off balance.”
And the right-hander was right, picking off courtesy runner Matt Rouse who represented the tying run before retiring the next two batters as the Pride held on for a rocky 8-7 victory over the Wildcats in Cap-8 Conference baseball action Tuesday night.
“It’s very much needed although we didn’t do as well as we’d hoped to,” said Leins, who was 3 for 4 with an RBI as well as getting the win with four innings of relief work, allowing four hits, walking two and striking out two. “But we came out with the win and that’s all that matters.”
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Leesville Road improved to 8-4 overall and 5-1 in the Cap-8 with the victory, which came despite five errors that led to all of Millbrook’s runs being unearned.
“Absolutely, that team is way too good to let them make that many mistakes and still sneak away with a win,” Wildcats head coach Austin James said after his team fell to 6-5, 3-2. “It’s disappointing.”
The Wildcats took a 3-0 lead in the first when Caleb Teachey reached on an infield single and stole second with one out. Gregory Strickland walked, and after LR starter Will Sandy struck out the next batter, the North Carolina commit got Dominic Rodts to ground to third. However, the throw to first was wild, allowing Teachey to score and put runners on the second and third. Justin Wilcoxen singled to right to make it 2-0 and a passed ball allowed run No. 3 to trot home.
The Pride got two in the second with a sacrifice fly by Sid Credle and a double by Landon Choboy scored Leins and Shawn Sergeant, respectively.
Millbrook upped the lead to 5-2 in the third as Rodts and Wilcox drew walks and came home on a throwing error on Douglas Bell’s infield single.
In the bottom of the frame, Ronald Evans was hit by a pitch, Tyler Bowen walked and Leins singled to plate Evans to make it 5-3. Sergeant walked to load the bases and an RBI fielder’s choice grounder by Credle cut the lead to one.
Another walked chased Millbrook starter Strickland, and Choboy lofted a sacrifice fly to score Leins and tie the game at 5. An error at short on Ian Cummings’ grounder scored Credle for the first Pride lead.
Back-to-back RBI singles by Cummings and Jack Kaelin pushed the advantage to 8-6 in the fifth.
Millbrook got two in the sixth as Tyler Snead and Teachey singled, with Snead scoring and Teachey advancing to third on an error in right. Strickland followed with an RBI single.