The late Billy Martin was known during his long career as a Major League Baseball manager for shaking up his lineup to snap a team slump by drawing names out of a hat to pick the batting order.
Cary Academy head coach Ray Pope’s cap remained atop his head, but he was brainstorming after the Chargers split the first two starts in a three-game series during the week with Durham Academy. Cary Academy won 2-1 on Tuesday and lost 2-0 on Thursday.
“We’ve been struggling getting runs early in the year,” Pope said. “We shook up the lineup to get some runs, and it paid off with some scoring.”
Six Chargers combined for 11 hits, eight scored runs, and six collected an RBI as Cary Academy improved to 6-2 with an 11-0 victory Friday in a night game called after five innings due to the mercy rule of leading by 10 runs after five innings.
“We needed to do something to bounce back from Thursday and take some of the pressure off,” Pope said.
Cary Academy batted around twice – in the third inning with 12 batters and seven runs and again in the fourth with 10 batters and four runs.
When starting pitcher Raymond Reynolds retired Durham Academy in the top of the fifth inning, the game was called. He had a no-hitter through three innings before he spent a long time in the dugout while 12 batters went to the plate to collect the 7-0 lead. He finished with a two-hit shutout and four strikeouts.
“I was pacing the dugout,” Reynolds said. “You have to move around and drink Gatorade and water during times like that. I tried to stay relaxed.”
Reynolds, a senior who is considering plans to walk on at Stanford, was one of the players shuffled in the batting order. He went from the third to leadoff. He only reached base once on an error in his first three at-bats, but in the fourth he stroked a two-run double to left field that one-hopped to the fence. He finished with one run scored and two RBIs.
“He’s been a model player for us,” said Pope. “Stanford will be getting a great player. He will be successful no matter what he does.”
First baseman Sam Ingalls moved from sixth to second. He produced a 3-of-4 day with three singles. He scored one run and knocked in another. Second baseman Tyler Marshall dropped from second to sixth. He responded with a sacrifice bunt his first time up, a single and reached base on error. He accounted for one run and one RBI.
Another player with a big bat was sophomore right fielder Thomas May, but he was 2-of-2 with a walk, two runs and three RBIs from his usual No. 9 spot. He snapped his slump the old-fashioned way – extra-batting practice.
“I’m feeling more confident at the plate,” May said. “I’m getting my hips and hands in the swing.”
Billy Martin would have approved of the old-fashioned way, too.