In what had been a scoreless baseball game through four innings, the Millbrook Wildcats scored what would be the winning run in the fifth, as they defeated the Heritage Huskies 2-0 Wednesday.
With the win, Millbrook (15-7, 10-2) jumped ahead of second-place Heritage (17-4, 9-3) with two games left in the Cap-8 4A season.
“(This win) puts us closer to our first goal, which is winning the Cap-8, which means if we take care of business (Thursday) night against Sanderson on senior night, we’ll be Cap-8 champs,” Millbrook assistant coach Tom Tillottson said. “That’s what we started the year out wanting to accomplish. That’s what our goal is” Thursday night.
Millbrook starter Reid Herring got into a fifth-inning jam. After a leadoff single by Vito Patierno and a fielder’s choice that moved him to second base, Herring walked two of the next three hitters. His defense provided support after Herring faced a full count to Branden Kunz, who grounded out to second to end the threat.
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“We had chances but didn’t execute,” Heritage coach Joe John said. “This time of year, and in these type of games, you have to execute or you’re not going to win them, and that’s what happened.”
The Wildcats executed, and got some help, to break open the pitching duel. Herring helped himself with a leadoff single, and pinch-runner C.J. Waters stole second and later would score on an error. With the bases loaded, Dominic Rodts had an RBI groundout to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead.
“Our offense came alive, and our base running came alive,” Tillottson said. “We put a pinch-runner in, CJ Waters, and he did a fantastic job taking second base, which started it for us. We never hesitated and never stopped. We know good things are going to happen when we are smart on the base paths.”
They said it
“With his pitch count where it was, we knew that if he got in trouble we would take him out, but we were starting him in the seventh no matter what.” Tillottson on going to Herring for the seventh inning
By the numbers
0 The Wildcats sweep the season series against Heritage. Both wins were shutouts.
3 Hits from Millbrook’s Bryce Carnevale, which led all players.
4 Of the 13 leadoff batters in the game reached to start an inning.
Millbrook can clinch the Cap-8 4A title with a win Thursday against Sanderson on senior night.
Heritage will face Broughton on Thursday. The Huskies won the first meeting between the teams.