Polk scores first WHC baseball win of the season, 16-0
Published 10:00 pm Thursday, March 24, 2016
Polk County head baseball coach Ty Stott knew his team was capable of hitting the cover off the ball, and blanking the other tem.
On March 22, the Wolverines did both, shutting out Avery County, 16-0 (scoring rule, after the visitor’s fifth) at Columbus.
It was the Wolverines’ first Western Highlands Conference win of the season, making them 3-8 overall, and 1-3 in the WHC.
Polk did it with steady hitting, good fielding, and alert base running. They got a superb, complete-game outing from freshman Avery Edwards, who seemed as strong through five innings as he was early on.
It’s always easier to win when you’re ahead. The Wolverines achieved that with an eight-run first. They added more in the second, when, with Daniel Painter on third, and Noah Howell on second, Chris Lawrence looped a single scoring Painter. That brought up Brian Dadson. Dadson ripped a double to center to put runners on second and third, driving in Howell.
A wild throw to first on an infield grounder scored Lawrence and Dadson, giving the Wolverines a 12-0 lead. With no outs, they were not finished.
J.D. Edwards’ double to right scored another run, bringing Bailey Livesay to the plate. Livesay was out on a hard one-hopper to the mound, with Edwards holding his ground. Holden Owens followed with a line single, putting Wolverines on first and third. Polk’s third out came on a line drive by Painter.
Polk’s defense kept its composure after a line single got past two outfielders in the top of the third. The Wolverines’ defense got the ball back to the infield quickly, holding the batter on first.
Polk added three runs in the home fourth, courtesy of more solid hitting and more help from the Viking defense. That didn’t stop Avery’s alert second baseman, who fielded a grounder, tagged out the runner from first, and completed the double play by gunning down the batter at first.
After the game, a pleased Stott mentioned that he constantly tells his players what they are capable of accomplishing, and not dwelling on the negative.
“I just don’t see it,” Stott said about any reason his players are not capable of winning consistently
If the Wolverines continue to perform well, they “might have some believers,” Stott emphasized.
In addition to Edwards’ three-hit performance (including striking out the three batters he faced in the fifth), Polk “had some players swinging the bats,” Stott remarked. He also observed that Polk batters performed well with two strikes on them.
Avery Edwards, Stott noted, “did everything you can expect of a pitcher.” He fanned eight batters in just five innings.
“We’re hoping to have a better second half (of the season) than we had a first half,” Stott added.
On Tuesday, March 29, the Wolverines host WHC rival Owen. They host Christ School on March 31, and host Madison on April 5, in a WHC matchup. All varsity games are set to begin at 6:30.