KINGSPORT — The only thing less subtle than Science Hill’s yellow baseball uniforms Tuesday night was the manner in which the Hilltoppers snatched victory from Dobyns-Bennett.
In the top of the seventh inning, Will Craig cranked Chris Cook’s perfectly good 1-0 count slider over the left field fence for a grand slam that lifted the ’Toppers to a 6-5 Big 8 Conference victory at J. Fred Johnson Stadium.
“That’s twice we’ve been up three runs going into the last couple of innings and just didn’t hold them off,” said D-B coach Ryan Wagner, who sent Cook out to close with a 5-2 lead.
Science Hill started its comeback with a single by David Bryant, pinch-hitting for Malik Stephens.
Center fielder Stephens went in to run, but he didn’t have to work too hard. A walk to Kyle Wilson and a single by Tucker McPherson set the table for Craig, who this past November signed to play for Wake Forest.
“Any time you’ve got Will Craig in your lineup, I guess you’re never out of it,” said Science Hill coach Ryan Edwards.
“They definitely wouldn’t have pitched to (Craig) if they didn’t have to. But the bases were loaded and they had to do something. He did what he does best. He got into one.”
Prior to his blast, Craig was 0-for-1 with a pair of walks issued by D-B starter Kyle Reeves. Craig scored on both, representing two of three free bases that Science Hill (17-3, 6-0) converted into critical runs.
“Right now is not a time to get down on ourselves. We’ve got a conference game against Volunteer tomorrow. They’ve given us fits over the last couple of years,” said Wagner, whose Indians dropped to 13-3, 5-2.
For the complete game story, see Wednesday's edition of the Kingsport Times-News.