Polk County baseball coach Billy Alm found one positive in a 10-0 loss Wednesday at West Henderson – the Wolverines had a chance less than 24 hours away to rebound from it.
Polk County did just that Thursday, concluding a season sweep of 1A conference foe Avery with a 13-3, five-inning victory in a Western Highlands Conference matchup at The Bottoms at PCHS.
Holden Owens’ three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth ended the game and kept Polk County (11-2, 9-0) unbeaten in league play. The Wolverines are now three games clear in the loss column of Mountain Heritage and Mitchell, both 4-3 in league play, and Madison, who sits at 3-3.
Polk County’s junior varsity earned a 25-4 victory.
“We played as bad as we possibly could play defensively (Wednesday),” Alm said. “It was good to be able to come back out and get our confidence back. It was great to play at home and get our confidence back at the plate. See the ball, hit the ball.”
Avery (0-10, 0-8) made the night easier for Polk County batters with 11 walks and a hit batter. The Vikings, though, did jump to a 2-0 lead in the second inning, stringing together two walks, an error and a base hit.
But the Wolverines responded with eight runs in their half of the inning to seize command. Two walks sandwiched around a Tyler Harris double loaded the bases, with walks to Elijah Sutton and Grayson Jones forcing in two runs. Avery Edwards cleared the bases with a double into the gap in right-center and, after a walk to Clark Phipps, Owens smashed a double off the wall in left to drive in Edwards and Phipps.
Harris singled with two outs to plate Owens and make it 8-2, Polk.
The Wolverines added two runs in the fourth inning without a hit before closing out the game in the fifth as Jones walked and Edwards reached on an error before Owens hammered a two-out line drive to right field that sailed over the 345-foot sign.
Owens finished 2-for-3 with five RBI to lead Polk County, with Edwards 2-for-3 with three RBI. Harris also finished 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Clark Phipps earned the win, pitching three innings, giving up just one hit and two unearned runs. Kyler Scruggs pitched the final two innings, allowing two hits and striking out four.
Polk County will be back in action on Tuesday, hosting Hendersonville at 6 p.m.
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