BASEBALL: Wolverines seize momentum, pull away for road triumph at Patton

Published 12:25 pm Wednesday, March 20, 2024

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Momentum swung often Tuesday in Polk County’s Mountain Foothills 7 Conference matchup with Patton.

Fortunately, it took its final swings with the Wolverines.

Polk County built a five-run lead, lost it, then pulled away to hand the Panthers a wild 14-7 loss in Morganton.

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The Wolverines (6-2, 2-1) trailed 7-5 after three innings, but scored three runs in the fourth and then sealed the game with a six-run fifth inning.

Gunnar Alm’s sacrifice fly and two-out RBI singles by Lawson Carter and Karson Scruggs accounted for the Wolverines’ three runs in the fourth and gave Polk an 8-7 lead.

Patton retired the first two Polk batters in the fifth, but Cohen Edwards’ single, an error on Mark Jarrett’s grounder and an intentional walk to Alm loaded the bases. Noah Harden and Carter drew walks to force in two runs before Alm scored on a passed ball and Scruggs singled to score Harden and make it 12-7.

Avrey Hensley followed with a single to drive in Carter, and another Patton error brought home Scruggs to make it 14-7.

Alm slammed his seventh homer of the season to open the game. Harden followed with a single, Carter doubled and Scruggs lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Harden and give Polk a quick 2-0 edge. Mason Beiler then laced a two-out double to drive in Carter, and two passed balls allowed Beiler to score and double the lead to 4-0.

Polk added a run in the second as Alm reached second on an infield error, stole third and scored on a Harden single to center.

Scruggs finished 3-for-4 with three RBI to lead Polk, with Harden going 2-for-3 and Carter finishing 2-for-4. Alm finished 1-for-3 with two RBI and three runs, with Hensley, Beiler and Edwards each adding hits.

Hensley earned the win, coming on in relief in the third inning and pitching three innings and giving up three hits and no runs. Carter and Alm pitched the final inning and a third and didn’t allow a run as Polk’s bullpen combined for four and two-third innings of scoreless relief.

Polk County is set to return home Wednesday to host Erwin in a non-conference game slated to start at approximately 6:30 p.m.