Polk Middle's Callum Eadus drives a base hit to left field during the fifth inning of Monday's game

There certainly have been moments over the past two seasons when afternoons such as Monday seemed too distant to dream for Polk County Middle’s baseball program.

Throughout last year’s one-win season, for example. Or this season’s 0-3 start.

But a never-give-up attitude has been a hallmark of this year’s Wolverines, and Polk Middle displayed that Monday in recording an 8-6 win over Apple Valley in a Blue Ridge Conference game at Polk County Recreation Complex.

The win proved significant for a couple of reasons. Not only did it offer the Wolverines a measure of revenge for an early-season loss to the Knights plus allow Polk to add another home win to its memories, the victory moved Polk into position for a BRC playoff berth.

And that, that’s what would have seemed a goal too high a season ago.

“If you look at what we’ve accomplished between last year and this year, it is absolute night and day,” said Polk Middle head coach Alston Rikard. “That’s all credit to them. They have come in, worked hard and bought into the program. And that’s what we really love to see.

“Going from one win in the entire season last year to four and looking at a playoff spot. It is daunting, but these guys are up to the task 100 percent.”

Apple Valley scored three in the top of the first; Polk Middle bettered that total in the bottom of the inning. Nate Fagan, Matthew Jarrett and Gavin Waldbillig all had base hits to launch the rally, with Callaway Cameron reaching on a fielder’s choice and Carter Wood drawing a walk and both later scoring to make it 4-3.

The Knights regained the lead in the top of the second, going up 5-4, but the Wolverines tied the game in the bottom of the third as Waldbillig singled and later scored.

Polk then pushed across three runs in the bottom of the fourth to gain the upper hand for good. Callum Eadus reached on an error before Fagan, Jarrett, Waldbillig and Cameron all drew walks. Wood was hit by a pitch to force in the final run.

Waldbillig finished 2-for-2, with Fagan going 2-for-3. Jarrettt and Eadus each added base hits.

“We made some errors, both in the field and on the basepaths,” Rikard said. “But what I can say about these boys is that there is no quit in them. They’re willing to fight to that end, and that’s what I really appreciate. Spirits never get low. We’re always going to dig deeper to get that last bit that we can out of every game.”

Simms Harris came on in relief Monday for Polk Middle and helped keep Apple Valley in check