Friday, October 31, 2014

Starr’s Mill tops Whitewater with wild finish


By Jimmie Haywood

Kyle Moseley gets caught stealing, but Starr’s Mill would walk off with the victory over Whitewater on Thursday night.

Karma comes full circle.
Two weeks ago, Whitewater was down to their last out of the game before rallying to beat McIntosh. Last week, McIntosh was down to their last out before rallying to beat Starr’s Mill. And on Thursday, Starr’s Mill rallied in the bottom of the the seventh inning to beat who other than Whitewater, who started the trend.
After a game-tying double by senior Patrick Mullens put runners on second and third with no outs in a 1-1 game, Austin Webb was ushered in from third base for the game winning score on a balk by Wildcats reliever Jake Lee. 
“That’s a questionable call in a close ball game, but hey it got caught and the call was made,” said Wildcats coach Rusty Bennett, whose team dropped its first game of the season and now sit at 14-1 overall. “I thought we played very well against a good team that had a very good pitcher. I tip my hat to coach Moseley and that bunch .”
This was even tighter contest than the 2-1 final score would lead you to believe. In the first three innings both team combined to leave eight runners on base with Starr’s Mill accounting for six of those, including having the bases loaded in the first inning and coming away empty.
This game didn’t get a run on the scoreboard until the top of the fourth inning when designated hitter Jarrett Gresham slapped a shot that narrowly slipped passed Starr’s Mill pitcher Adam Goodman, allowing Brandon Bell to score from third. In the bottom of the fourth, Starr’s Mill had a chance to respond with a similar two on and two out situation which they failed to convert, leaving them trailing 1-0.
“Goodman was really, really good and they only got the one run when it ricocheted off his cleat,” Panthers coach Brent Moseley said of Goodman, who picked up the win for Starr’s Mill after pitching the entire game and recording four strikeouts. “We had runners on the whole game. We just couldn’t get that clutch hit, then we finally got it at the end.”
“I’m proud of them. That's the best they’ve played all year,” Moseley added.
In the top of the fifth, Whitewater had a runner on third base, but failed to bring him in. It proved to be costly after pitcher Johnathan Hendershot, who had held the Panthers offense in relative check with seven K’s, was relieved after five and a third innings by Chandler Raiden. To his credit, Raiden managed to get out of of the out the bottom of sixth unscathed, but, after getting no additional support from the offense, Raiden was overwhelmed by a Panthers squad that saw a chance to steal a winnable game in the bottom of the seventh. The Panthers put their first two batters on with no outs, which prompted Wildcats Bennett to pull Raiden in favor of Lee, who didn’t fair any better, after allowing the game-tying hit to Mullins before balking.
“We got our first few runners on and coach had faith in me and luckily we came out with the win,” said Mullins on how it felt to bring in the game-tying run and team's only RBI of the game. 
As a result of the win, Starr’s Mill improved to 12-3 overall with a 6-1 record in the region, which has them tied with Whitewater (9-1) in the loss column for the top spot in the region 4B five-A.


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