BLOOMFIELD – No one would no better than a catcher what a baseball is capable of doing when it leaves the pitcher's hand.
Dawson Townsend used that awareness to put himself in position to bring home a big South Central Conference win for the Davis County baseball team on Friday night.
Standing at second with the potential winning run, Townsend spotted a pitch from Thane Alexander that was destined to give EBF catcher Zach Leonard problems. The Davis County catcher didn't hesitate, dashing to third base on a pitch that just skipped away from Leonard.
Five pitches later, Townsend was able to dash home scoring the winning run on a two-out pitch to Dalton Reeves that went all the way to the backstop, giving Davis County a 2-1 win over the Rockets in a classic duel that saw both starting pitchers settle for no-decisions.
"Being a catcher, I can read when a ball is going into the dirt," Townsend said. "I could read that the ball was going to bounce off (Leonard), so I was able to get a good jump and take third. That was huge. If I don't get there, I don't score on the passed ball.
"There's no better feeling when you score the winning run and have your teammates jump on top of you at home plate. I love it."
Alexander took over on the mound in the seventh after Ethan Davis worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the sixth. Davis struck out Nolan Cramer and Glen Goodson to keep the go-ahead run from scoring before forcing Clay Collier into an inning-ending fly out, preserving the 1-1 tie.
"I don't know if I can say enough about that kid," EBF head baseball coach Thomas Hallgren said. "Command has been an issue for him for a few weeks now. For him to be able to go out, make some adjustments literately on the fly and give us six solid innings, you can't ask for anymore from a kid that's a competitor."
Easton White matched Davis, pitching deep into the seventh for the Mustangs before handing the baseball over to Caedyn Glosser. Devin Jager, the only batter Glosser would face, struck out swinging to end the seventh stranding Kyler Ricard at second base with the potential go-ahead run.
"Coming into it, I didn't the old wing would have it in it," White said. "All that ice and all that Ibuprofen must have worked, because I threw a pretty good game."
EBF (9-3, 4-2 SCC) score the first run of the night as Leonard brought in Reilly Flaig with an RBI double in the second inning, giving the Rockets a 1-0 lead. Flaig gave EBF a chance to add to the lead after finding the gap for a one-out triple in the fourth before the Mustang defense responded as Noah Zmolek kept Flaig from scoring on a groundout at short before White forced Leonard to fly out to right.
"It was back-and-forth. They struck early and we managed to respond," Davis County head baseball coach Todd White said. "Both teams had opportunities. Both pitchers worked out of jams with some good defense behind them."
Cramer's bloop double just inside the foul line to open the fifth inning ultimately turned into a game-tying rally by the Mustangs. Cramer reached third sliding in as EBF looked for the out at the hot corner on a sacrifice bunt by Goodson, setting up Collier for a game-tying sacrifice fly to center.
The Mustangs could not keep the momentum going on Saturday at Community Field in Burlington, dropping two games to Burlington High School 8-4 and 12-2. Glosser and White each had a hit and drove in two runs in the opening game for the Mustangs while Gavin McCall and Collier each collected hits and scored runs in the second inning of the five-inning nightcap with the Grayhounds.
Davis County (7-9, 5-4) heads to Donnelson on Tuesday to face Central Lee while EBF heads to Colfax-Mingo.