Polk snaps slide, celebrates seniors with victory in regular-season home finale

Angus Weaver helped win a game Tuesday with his feet. Which, if you’ve followed Polk County athletics of late, might not come as news.

The Wolverine football standout singled and stole two bases in the bottom of the sixth, and Karson Scruggs followed with a looping line drive to left-center that scored Weaver with the winning run in the Wolverines’ 3-2 victory over Brevard at The Bottoms.

The win snapped a five-game losing slide and moved Polk County (8-13, 2-9) into a tie for fifth in the Mountain Foothills 7 Conference standings with Brevard (6-16, 2-9). It also kept alive the Wolverines’ hopes for a 2A wild card playoff berth, with Polk likely two spots away at present in the current 2A West RPI rankings.

It also made for a celebratory Senior Night for Weaver and Landen Bradley, the Wolverines’ two pending graduates.

All of which left Polk County head coach Billy Alm with a relieved postgame smile.

“Maybe I’ll sleep tonight,” Alm said.

Polk scored twice in the first inning, and freshman starter Noah Harden made that lead stand for much of the evening. Often working ahead in the count – 13 first-pitch strikes to 24 batters – Harden scattered five hits, struck out five and walked just one in six innings of work. The Wolverines also played solid defense in support of Harden, committing just one error.

Brevard trimmed the deficit to 2-1 in the second innings, then finally broke through in the top of the sixth to even the score as leadoff batter Jordan Brown cracked a solo home run off the Wolverine practice facility in left-center field.

Weaver opened the bottom of the sixth with a sharp single to right. He immediately stole second, then took third moments later. Brevard starter Lawson Powell responded with a pair of strikeouts, but Scruggs delivered his game-winning hit that allowed Weaver to easily score.

Angus Weaver crosses the plate with the winning run in Tuesday’s victory over Brevard

Lawson Carter pitched a perfect seventh inning, aided by a nice play at shortstop by Alex Perry to open the frame, to seal the victory.

“We played jam-up defense tonight and we pitched it well. And when you play defense, you win ball games,” Alm said. “Angus has been struggling a little bit at the plate of late, but he got that big hit for us at the end. I was hoping he’d do something tonight for Senior Night, and he got there, stole two bags and got us that last run. Karson Scruggs came through with that big hit at the end.”

Carter finished 2-for-3 at the plate, driving in Polk’s initial run in the first on a single that plated Gunnar Alm, who walked and stole second to open the inning. Carter also stole second, then moved to third and scored on wild pitches.

Harden, Weaver, Scruggs and Perry each added base hits for Polk, which will travel Wednesday to Madison for a non-conference clash.

“We need to win these games this week,” Alm said. “It’s just nice to win again after a five-game skid.”

Landen Bradley awaits his turn at bat during the later innings of Tuesday’s win

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