Wolverines triumph over visiting Hendersonville 7-4

Published 3:33 pm Friday, April 8, 2011

Roberto Taft tags out Hendersonville’s Wes Merrill at the plate during Polk’s victory Wednesday, April 6. (photo by Daniel Hecht)

Only a dozen Bearcats showed up to face off against the Wolverines Wednesday, April 6. As Cook explained, his squad has been decimated by everything from injuries to disciplinary suspensions, a factor that no doubt has contributed to the Bearcats’ sub-par early season record. Depleted though they may be, however, the boys in red gave Polk head coach Ty Stott’s team all they could handle in a contest that went down to the wire.
After Polk starter Dakota Turner held the Bearcats scoreless in the top of the first, Polk hitters put up two runs in the bottom half of the inning. Joel Booker lashed a Samuel Linn pitch to deep right center for an RBI double, scoring Rooster Ross who had reached on a walk. Lucas Cash then stroked a sharp grounder between third and short for a base hit, scoring Booker.
The Wolverines added two more runs in the second courtesy of Turner, who aided his own efforts by lacing a double to the right center field gap, scoring Roberto Taft, and then scoring himself later in the inning to make it 4-0 Polk.
Polk County added two more runs in their half of the third against reliever Conner Cope. Booker led off the inning by legging out an infield single, and then Tyler Philpott stepped to the plate and crushed a Cope offering over the fence in deep right field for a two-run homer, making it 6-0 Polk after three.
“It was a curveball that broke right into me,” said Philly, adding that the pitch “just broke right into my hands.”
The Bearcats made some noise in the fourth, touching up Turner for two runs on two hits and a walk. Roberto Taft entered the game in relief in the fifth and held the Bearcats scoreless for the next two innings, but in the top of the seventh, Taft walked both Wes Merrill and Chris Rice and then hit Rayce Walker with a pitch, and following a couple of Polk errors, the Bearcats had scored another run.
With bases loaded, one out, and the tying run at the plate, Stott tapped reliever Booker to replace Taft. Booker started shaky, walking the first batter he faced and forcing in a run, but then settled down to retire the final two Bearcat batters and preserve the win for Turner, now 3-1 on the year. The Wolverines improve to 9-2 overall and 5-1 in the Western Highlands conference, while Hendersonville falls to 4-5 and 4-3 in the WHC.

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