Polk baseball rallies in seventh, eliminates Forbush 5-4 in second round of state 2A playoffs

Published 9:35 am Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It was the scenario all young boys dream about from the time they start playing tee ball. State playoffs, tie score, bottom of the seventh, the winning run on third base and a chance to play the role of hero in front of a large hometown crowd.
Heady stuff for any high school ballplayer, and here was Wolverine sophomore Alec Philpott, preparing to step into the batter’s box to experience that exact dream sequence in real life. It’s times like this when it wouldn’t hurt to have your big brother around to offer some words of wisdom.

Roberto Taft fires to first as coach Ty Stott looks on during Polk's 5-4 win over Forbush Friday, May 13. (photo by Dan Hecht)

Fortunately for Philpott and the rest of the Wolverines, Alec’s senior sibling and teammate Tyler Philpott was on hand to provide some calming advice.
“I told him to just smile, relax and have fun,” said the senior Philpott following Polk County’s dramatic come from behind victory Friday, May 13 in Columbus. “Just smile – it makes it a lot easier on yourself.”
Smile Philpott did, and that smile quickly turned to shouts of jubilation, as the sophomore stepped to the plate and ripped a Josh Faircloth fastball into right center field, driving home the winning run and ending the game in spectacular walk-off fashion.
“I just fell into the zone at the end,” commented the younger Philpott, clearly understating his all-star seventh inning performance. In addition to his heroics at the plate, Philpott contributed two spectacular defensive gems at shortstop in the top of the inning to keep Polk within striking distance.
The theatrical finish was just icing on the cake, as fans in both bleachers were treated to a dandy of a contest. Polk jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first, as Andre Overholt and Joel Booker both scored on a two-RBI double to deep center by the young Philpott, who wound up 2 for 4 with three RBIs.
Forbush came to life in the top of the third. Polk starter Roberto Taft gave up four hits, including a blistering double by Mountain Valley Athletic Conference player of the year Caleb Brawley, as the Falcons took the lead by a score of 3-2.
Polk managed to draw back to even in their half of the third. Leadoff hitter Overholt legged out an infield single, quickly swiped second and then scored on a booming sacrifice fly to deep center by Booker, knotting the score at three all.
An Overholt throwing error, a single by shortstop Ben Temple and an intentional walk loaded the bases with Falcons in the top of the sixth. DH Dustin Moore wrestled an inside pitch from Taft off the handle into shallow right for an RBI single, putting Forbush back on top 4-3.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, down by a run and just one out away from elimination, Booker stepped into the box and came up clutch, lashing a hard ground ball just under the glove of shortstop Temple. With the tying run at first, big brother Tyler strode to the plate and crushed a Faircloth fastball to deep left field for an RBI double. He took third as Booker scored to tie the game at four.
As the senior Philpott left the field in favor of a pinch runner, he took his younger brother aside and whispered the game-winning wisdom that contributed to the storybook finish.
“There is definitely some magic here,” said Polk head coach Ty Stott, referring to the Wolverine’s perfect 12-0 playoff record at home. “Magic that has been developed with success, developed over time – I felt like we had that magic tonight.” The Wolverines travel to Canton this afternoon, Tuesday May 17, to take on the Bears of Pisgah High School as they advance to the second round of the state 2A playoffs.

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