The Delaware Hayes baseball team showed the height of its potential for the first five innings of Monday’s OCC-Cardinal game against Worthington Kilbourne at Fouts-Wood Field in Delaware.
But, the Wolves rallied for six runs in the sixth inning and added eight more in the seventh to run away with a 14-6 victory.
“There are a couple of things that we can control – our hustle, effort and attitude,” Hayes coach Ryan Montgomery said. “The teams that control that for all seven innings are great baseball teams. Teams that don’t control that for all seven innings allow things like that to happen.”
Jason Cross one-hit Kilbourne over the first five innings, setting the side down in order in the first, third, fourth and fifth, retiring 10 in a row at one point.
“(Cross and catcher Alex Kelly) work so well together and know what each other likes,” Montgomery said. “(Kelly) controls the zone really well and Jason works quick and Alex makes him work quick – which is great. They’re a good tandem.”
Meanwhile, Dominic Byers’ RBI single and Kelly’s two-run single staked the Pacers to a 3-0 lead in the third.
“Alex, for a sophomore, plays a little bit older than he is – which makes me excited,” Montgomery said. “He has an extremely bright future. I think we’re going to be a dangerous team with Jason on the mound.”
They added a run in the fourth off an error to push it to 4-0.
“We dominated the first five innings and I think they’d tell you the same,” Montgomery said. “(Cross) was in control – he had only been through the order twice at that point and we were putting pressure on them (offensively).”
Cross picked up his fifth strikeout of the game to start the sixth. But, then the wheels came off.
Nick Streets singled and Noah Reed followed with a double before a Tyler Ward single brought home one run and a second scored on an error on the play.
Brayden Carter hit a RBI single and Kyler Archual tied it with a double, chasing Cross.
Chase Brown sent a floater to the left-center gap in between left fielder Isaiah Moore and center fielder Ryan Daughenbaugh, who collided on the play and had to leave the game. Two runs scored on the play, giving the Wolves a 6-4 lead.
Moore appeared to have injured his right knee and Daughenbaugh had a welt on his right leg and an apparent wrist injury.
They were the second and third players to leave the game for the Pacers after Tyler Breitch exited in the third with a shoulder injury suffered diving back for the first base bag on a pick-off attempt.
Kilbourne pounded out seven hits and added a walk in the seventh to score eight runs to blow the game open.
“There’s no excuse for giving up those eight runs in that last inning,” Montgomery said. “We have to be tougher in those situations and respond better. I wanted to see us come out with a little more fight.”
Zach Miller and Mason Davis each added RBI hits in the seventh to account for the final margin. Miller had three hits to lead the Pacers (4-8, 1-8).
Cross took the loss, allowing five runs (all earned) on six hits with six strikeouts.
Reed got the win going all seven innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on 11 hits and a walk with nine strikeouts.
Carter, Brown and Streets each had two hits and Brown drove in three runs to lead the Wolves (11-5, 5-4).
“We have to finish … and we’re right there,” Montgomery said. “I don’t know (if that team) is eight runs better than us. So, to see that and see (the result) is really hard for me. But, we have to come back and battle tomorrow. We can’t hang our heads.”
Hayes is right back at it today, hosting Hilliard Bradley in league play at 5 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnowealthy or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.