Billy Alm hopes the late-game offense that Polk County produced Monday will hang around a few days.
Perhaps shaking off a recent run of offensive doldrums, the Wolverines nearly fought back from a 10-2 deficit against Rosman, scoring six late runs in a 10-8 non-conference loss at Polk.
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The Tigers (10-5) could thank third baseman Kameron Newman for the bulk of their production. Newman hammered a three-run homer in the first inning and a grand slam in the fourth, finishing the day 2-for-3 with seven RBI. The latter blast lifted the Tigers to their 10-2 lead.
Depending upon which scorebook you believed, Polk County (5-9) either dropped a one-hit or no-hit 6-0 loss on Saturday to Mountain Heritage. That followed a 6-4 loss at Madison earlier in the week and left Alm looking for production at the plate entering Monday’s matchup.
“The last couple of games, we’ve taken a step back with our bats,” Alm said. “Our defense has been good. If we can get both of those together, we’ll be in good shape.”
Polk County began to find some offense and rally Monday with two outs in the fifth. Holden Owens crushed a deep drive to left-center for a double, with Tyler Harris following with a base hit to drive in Owens. Harris scored on Sedric Pickett’s shallow fly ball that eluded the Rosman outfield after falling, and Zach Foy followed with a line-drive double to center to plate Pickett and make it 10-5.
The Wolverines then gave the home crowd reason for excitement in the bottom of the seventh. Evan Rimer and Owens singled and Harris walked to load the bases with no outs. Pickett then lined a single just inside the left-field foul line to drive in Rimer and Owens and force a Rosman pitching change, Newman coming in from third base to pitch.
Foy hit into a fielder’s choice, with Pickett forced out at second, but an errant throw to first allowed pinch runner Clark Phipps to score. Foy, though, was thrown out at second for the inning’s second out. Following Grayson Jones’ single to center, Newman got the final out to seal the Tigers’ win.
Jones and Chris Lawrence teamed to allow two hits and an earned run in four innings of relief, with Lawrence pitching three scoreless innings.
“(Lawrence) did a great job keeping us in there,” Alm said. “We made it interesting at the end. We never stopped fighting.”
Owens finished 3-for-4 to lead the Wolverines, with Pickett going 2-for-4 with three RBI, Foy finishing 2-for-3 with two RBI and Chris Phipps going 1-for-1 with an RBI. Bailey Livesay, Rimer, Harris and Jones also had hits.
The Wolverines remain at home on Tuesday, hosting Mitchell for a Western Highlands Conference clash.