on May 1, 2009 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Razorbacks find yet another way to win late

WALHALLA — With the game tied 8-8 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Isaac Williamson stepped to the plate with the bases loaded thinking just one thing.

“I was thinking just please don’t let me strike out,” Williamson said. “I was praying. I prayed a few times. I was like ‘God, please don’t let me strike out.’”

Apparently, that message was received.

Williamson reached out and barely made contact, sending the ball off home plate and in front of the pitcher’s mound where nobody could get to it quickly enough to prevent pinch runner Evan Brown from crossing the plate with the winning run to secure Walhalla High School’s victory over Woodruff in the first game of the Class AA district playoffs.

That run capped a back-and-forth game that saw Walhalla blow leads of 2-0, 6-2, and 8-6 before finally finishing the job.

“Evidently that’s our style,” Walhalla coach Jamie Garland said. “I just told the guys after the game, we needed a little emotion to keep us going. They said ,’We’ll take it as long as we can get it,’ and I said, ‘That’s fine, as long as you keep winning with it.’ It makes for a good game.”

Ross Brady pitched the final inning for Woodruff and failed to retire a single hitter before allowing Williamson to score.

Jake Wolff got the win for Walhalla despite allowing two inherited runners to score, surrendering two runs of his own, and blowing the save in the seventh.

Walhalla starter Nate Williamson and Woodruff starter Derek Gillespie both received no decisions.

“I was proud of them for their fight and resilience,” Woodruff coach Will Lanford said of his team. “If we shore up a little defense and play a little bit better, we can win a game like this. I think we proved that we can play with the upper-echelon teams now and I think that’s what we’ve got to take from this.”

Defense did cost the Wolverines, as they gave up two unearned runs in the sixth inning that proved to be costly.

Walhalla started the scoring with two runs in the first on a single from Wolff and an RBI groundout by Matt Richardson.

The game remained 2-0 until Woodruff tied it in the fourth. Walhalla shortstop Rob Middleton booted a routine double play ball, putting runners at first and second with only one out. Scott Exum took advantage, drilling an RBI single to right field for Woodruff’s first run. Chris Bridges then grounded to Middleton, scoring the second run.

Middleton added an RBI single in the fifth inning, before a throwing error on third baseman Josh Hyman allowed two more runs to cross the plate. A single by Hunter Coker made it 6-2.

Woodruff came right back though, scoring four times in the sixth on RBI singles from C.J. West and Hyman, and a single that knocked in two runs by Ryan Perkins.

Walhalla again took the lead, this time with two runs in its half of the sixth courtesy of two infield errors.

Woodruff refused to quit a third time, putting up two runs of its own in the top of the seventh on Bridges’ single to right field.

That set the stage for Williamson and the Razorbacks for some last-minute heroics, and, like they have all season, they came through.

“This is how we’ve been all season and I think this is how we’re going to keep on going,” Williamson said. “If we keep on playing like this, we always come out with a win in the end.”

Walhalla will be back in action at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Razorback Field. They will be taking on the winner of the Andrew Jackson and Batesburg-Leesville game that was played Thursday night.

Walhalla 9, Woodruff 8

WDF 000 204 2 — 8 15 3

WAL 200 042 1 — 9 9 1

Pitching

IP H R BB K

W — Wolff 1.1 4 2 0 2

L — Brady 0 1 1 2 0

Hitting

WDF — Exum, 3-4, RBI; Gillespie, 2-3; Hyman, 2-4

WHS — Middleton, 2-3, HBP, RBI; N. Williamson, 3-4, 2B