The Broughton baseball team keeps track of freebies.
“Freebies are walks, hit batters and errors we commit,” Capitals head coach Harry Jones said.
In Friday afternoon’s Cap-8 Conference clash against rival Enloe on Wiley Warren Field, the Capitals final total was just one, and that came with two outs in the seventh inning of a 5-1 victory. It was the team’s first league win in five tries, severing a nine-game losing streak to improve to 5-10.
“We usually have a lot more freebies than that,” Jones said. “You do that, it puts pressure on your opponent.”
The loss was the ninth in a row for the Eagles (1-12, 0-6).
With the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Enloe starter Logan McCollum got the first batter out and then got Penn Sealey to pop up in the infield.
Third baseman Dante Thorbs came dashing toward the mound, calling off McCollum. However, he tripped on the mound, allowing the ball to drop for a single.
Two pitches later – a single by Robert Ramseur and a hit-by-pitch to Will Baldwin loaded the bases.
“That was the game-changer,” Enloe head coach Billy Ray Rutledge said of the missed second out.
Why? Because Caps’ center fielder Warren Grady walked to bring home a run, then first baseman Mathis Dean rocketed a line drive to the left, clearing the bases.
“It’s how we teach them,” Rutledge said. “If one player has a better play on the ball, he calls you off. It’s unfortunate he tripped.”
The pitching of Broughton senior Thomas Walden.
The right-hander consistently got his fastball across for strikes, allowing him to use breaking balls at will to get the young Enloe batters to chase. Walden racked up 11 strikeouts in a complete game, four-hitter. After allowing a run on three hits through 1 2/3 innings, he retired 15 batters in a row before two runners reached in the seventh.
Walden, who improved to 1-2, said the offense and defensive effort by his teammates inspired him.
“We got some runs, and that always helps with confidence,” he said. “And we didn’t make any errors, which is something we don’t normally do. … I knew Enloe was a young team, and I wanted to get after them with my fastball and then make them chase other stuff.”
Rutledge saw plenty to be happy with from his side, especially the way it bounced back from a 26-5 loss at Sanderson on Wednesday.
But three errors and two misplays were too many.
“We have to find a way to overcome our mistakes,” he said.
Three to know
Robert Ramseur, Broughton: Catcher went 3 for 3 with singles in the third, fifth and sixth innings.
Mathis Dean, Broughton: Had a sacrifice fly in the first and a three-RBI double in the fifth.
Jared Moore, Enloe: First baseman was 1 for 3, driving in his team’s lone run with a two-out single in the second inning.