Sitting four outs from a loss and five runs from tying the game, many baseball teams might accept the fate given to them. But Armuchee kept swinging and believed if it played the right way, it could come back.
The Indians recorded seven consecutive hits in the bottom of the sixth to score seven runs, completing a five-run comeback Friday and beating Model 11-9 in Armuchee. The win keeps the Tribe undefeated in Region 7-AA under new head coach Andy Henderson.
“It’s not just that hitting was contagious,” Henderson said. “When those guys got up and realized, ‘Hey, if we play how we are supposed to, we’re going to win the ballgame.’ And they finally realized it, and they stepped up.”
Armuchee’s Randon Carter reached base three times, had a double and a single and three RBIs, while Ethan Nixon went 2 for 4 with a run scored and the go-ahead RBI that brought in Brett Barker.
Model swung the bats well too, with senior Trevor Proctor going 4 for 4 with two extra base hits, a walk and two runs scored.
Caleb Heard started for Model, going 5 2-3 innings and allowing four earned runs while reaching base three times with two RBIs.
But Model’s bats and Heard’s start was only the story for the first five innings and couldn’t match up to the Armuchee rally. The Indians recorded six singles and a double in their sixth, all done with two outs, and turned the game around.
The Indians (3-5, 3-0 7-AA) almost left the sixth with no runs, with Brantson Duck having to leg out an infield single. After two more hits, Jacob Stanley smashed the ball into right center for a double, making it 9-7 Model and putting the tying run on second. Moments later, Barker tied the game on a base hit and then ran to second after a throw home. Nixon completed the comeback with a dribbling hit that got down the third base line, giving Armuchee its first lead.
“The thing about high school baseball is if you never give up, you wait on your pitch, you’re going to get your pitch,” Henderson said. “When they got their pitch, they hit it hard. That was almost all sophomores and freshman and they hit it well.”
With the rally, Armuchee relief pitcher Christian Hale picked up the win, while Carter and Duck were brought in to get the final three outs in the seventh,
Model (1-12, 1-3) scored two runs in each of the first two innings and then widened the gap with four runs in the top of the sixth. The constant throughout was Proctor, who got hits in all three innings and scored in two of them.
The ensuing Armuchee comeback was tough to swallow for the Blue Devils, who have just one win on the season. But coach Brett White knows it’s still early, and his players can’t linger on a loss like Friday’s.
“A tough one like today, you just have to put in the back of your mind and learn from it,” White said. “That said, my guys played well, their guys played well, they just beat us tonight.”
Armuchee plays again Tuesday when it travels to play Coosa, while Model travels to Trenton to play Dade County.