Deja blue: Brevard scores in final at-bat top Polk County

Published 12:23 pm Tuesday, April 30, 2024

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Polk County had an unwanted case of deja Blue on Friday evening.

For the second time in four days, Brevard scored the winning run in its final at-bat, slipping past the Wolverines 5-4 in a Mountain Foothills 7 Conference matchup at The Bottoms.

The Blue Devils (7-10, 4-6) rallied from five runs down in Tuesday’s 12-11 win in Brevard. This time, Brevard just needed a single run after entering the top of the seventh in a 4-4 deadlock with Polk (8-12, 2-8).

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Liam McCrary drew a leadoff walk and Tyler Hodgson was hit by a pitch to open the inning. A fly out moved McCrary to third, but Polk reliever Lawson Carter recorded a strikeout for the inning’s second out.

With Andrew Gorman at bat, the inning looked to be over when Polk catcher Cohen Edwards attempted to pick off McCrary at third and struck Gorman. Catcher interference was initially ruled, ending the inning, but officials reversed the decision after the Wolverines had already gone to the dugout.

With play resumed, Gorman chopped a one-bounce slow grounder down the third-base line and just beat the throw to first, allowing McCrary to score.

As was the case Tuesday, Polk got the leadoff runner on its final at-bat as Karson Scruggs drilled a base hit to right-center. Mason Beiler sacrificed Scruggs to second before Edwards was hit by a pitch. Brevard reliever McCrary, though, struck out the final two batters to end the game.

The teams swapped runs in the first inning, with Polk scoring its run on a Carter single. Brevard inched ahead to a 4-1 lead by the top of the fourth, but the Wolverines got one run back in the fifth as Gunnar Alm walked, stole second, moved to third on a Carter fly out and then scored on a Scruggs single.

Edwards opened the bottom of the sixth with a sharp single to right, and Zalen McCraw followed with a single to left. Donte Tingling’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners up a base, with courtesy runner Gage Harden scoring on Mark Jarrett’s infield grounder. Brevard intentionally walked Alm to load the bases before Alex Perry’s ground ball to second allowed McCraw to score with the tying run.

McCraw finished 3-for-4, with Scruggs 2-for-4. Perry, Carter, Edwards and Jarrett each added base hits.

Polk County was set to kick off the final week of the regular season on Tuesday, hosting Chase.