Clint Williams left the batter’s box Thursday afternoon knowing he had let his team down. After five dismal innings of play, Fuquay-Varina rallied to have the bases loaded with a chance to beat Broughton in the bottom of the seventh inning.
With two outs, Williams, the first baseman, swung and saw the ball come off his bat. A sharp fly ball, he thought.
“I just saw it floating up there and stopped looking at it,” Williams said. “I was hanging my head and all of a sudden I heard the crowd go nuts.”
For a few seconds, the game appeared over. But the ball slipped out of the glove of Broughton’s left fielder. The play resulted in a 5-4 walk-off win for the Bengals in day one of the Bobby Murray Invitational at the USA Baseball Complex.
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“They played a lot better than us,” Fuquay-Varina coach Milton Senter said. “We were very lucky.”
Shortstop Zach Orrison, who was on third base when the play happened, agreed with Senter.
“We feel very fortunate to win because they outplayed us,” Orrison said. “I think the fielder pressed it too much and didn’t really look it into his glove.”
Broughton (2-10) built its lead early after Fuquay-Varina (8-4) committed four errors.
Fuquay-Varina cut the deficit to one in the sixth inning. Orrison then started the seventh inning by bunting up the first-base line to get on base.
“That was huge,” Williams said of Orrison. “Most of the time, when you get that first runner on base, you know he’s probably going to score.”
Williams just didn’t think Orrison was going to reach home plate on an error by the left fielder.
Wake County Home School 6, Heritage 4
In their first-ever appearance in the tournament, the Wake County Warriors struggled in the first inning. Pitcher Jacob Ennis threw 30 pitches and Heritage jumped out to a 4-0 lead.
“I think our guys might have been a little bit tight,” coach Warren Harvey said.
Wake County did settle down in the second inning, and behind a resilient performance from Ennis, the Warriors went on to beat the Huskies.
Ennis, who pitched all seven innings, continued to pitch to contact after the first inning. That allowed his teammates to make strong plays behind him.
“I just wanted to not let them get inside my head,” Ennis said. “You just have to mix up your pitches. I don’t think I would have been able to do well without my teammates.”
Infielder Jordan Paxton tied the game with a RBI double in the fifth inning. Then, third baseman Wade Laskey drove in the go-ahead run.
“We’ve been behind early before,” Harvey said. “We knew we could come back.”
Millbrook 14, Person 1 (six innings)
Millbrook pitcher Patrick LaGanke was the star in this game. LaGanke struck out 13 batters and allowed just one hit.
“I really wanted to keep them off the bases,” he said. “I was mostly using fastballs to get ahead.”
When LaGanke wasn’t pitching, each of Millbrook’s hitters reached based.
“This is probably our most complete game of the season,” LaGanke said. “Everyone had a hand in us getting 14 runs.”
Wakefield-East Wake postponed
The only game postponed due to rain was Wakefield against East Wake. The game rescheduled for Saturday morning, which Wakefield won 12-3.