As if buffeted by the wind whipping through the field all evening, Polk County and Madison played a back-and-forth game with the lead in Friday night’s Western Highlands Conference opener between the two schools.
Fate, the wind and whatever else fell last in Madison’s favor.
The Patriots snapped a 7-7 tie with a three-run sixth inning and held on for a 10-8 victory over Polk County on a frigid evening at Polk.
Dawson Coates’ RBI single with no outs and the bases loaded in the sixth gave Madison (1-3, 1-0) an 8-7 lead, and the Patriots tacked on two more runs on infield groundouts to grab a 10-7 margin.
Polk County (1-3, 0-1) responded in the bottom of the sixth as Holden Owens laced a one-out double, his fourth double in two days, and scored on Tyler Harris’ single. A two-out walk put the tying run on base, but James Fox got one of his four strikeouts to end the inning and Polk rally.
The Wolverines got the tying run to the plate in the seventh, but were unable to score.
Madison scored two runs in the top of the first, but Polk County answered with three runs in the bottom of the opening inning. Harris hammered a two-run double to the fence in left field with no outs, then scored on Zach Foy’s single to give the Wolverines a 3-2 lead.
Madison fashioned a four-run rally in the second on two singles, two walks, a hit batter and two Polk County errors to take a 6-3 advantage. The Wolverines answered with a run in the bottom of the second as Chris Lawrence scored on Bailey Livesay’s infield grounder, then tied the game in the third with two more runs.
Harris reached on a dropped third strike to open the third, with courtesy runner Jared Wolfe then moving to second on Sedric Pickett’s single. Zach Foy’s single past the shortstop brought home Wolfe, with Pickett moving to third on the play. Nick Capozzi’s sacrifice bunt drove in Pickett with the tying run.
The Wolverines grabbed a 7-6 lead in the bottom of the fourth as Livesay walked, then moved to third as Owens smashed a deep double to right field, the ball nearly carrying over the fence. Livesay then scored on a Madison error to give Polk a 7-6 lead.
Madison tied the game in the fifth, setting the stage for the key sixth inning.
Harris finished 2-for-4 with four RBI to pace Polk County’s offense, with Owens added a 2-for-4 effort and Foy going 2-for-2 with two RBI. Livesay, Pickett and Capozzi each had hits for the Wolverines.
Polk County is scheduled to begin a stretch of seven road games on Tuesday, traveling to Mountain Heritage for a WHC matchup.