BLOUNTVILLE — In any sport you want to “accentuate the positive.” For Volunteer and Sullivan Central, the baseball season has produced less than hoped for in terms of positive results.
Monday evening the Falcons made a positive move by grabbing hold of a 4-3 win over the Cougars.
The victory was the first inside the Big 8 Conference for Volunteer (7-17, 1-11) and gave the team a two-game winning streak.
Falcons senior Chris Wilmot recorded the win, going seven innings and allowing five hits. But Central (4-16, 2-10) made sure it didn’t come easy.
With his team trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh, the Cougars’ Lucas Parker led off with a double and reached third on throwing error. Second baseman Chase Combs’ throw on a fielder’s choice nailed Parker at home to halt the threat.
Wilmot settled after that and put down the next two batters in order to end the game.
“I had to keep my composure the whole game and from first strike to last and act like nothing happened,” he said. “But tonight we came together and hit the ball when we needed. It’s our first conference win and tomorrow we want another one.”
Jake Rogers put Volunteer up 1-0 in the second inning when he hit a two-out double and scored on a throwing error.
The Falcons’ other runs came in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. An RBI single from Brad Halderman scored Matt Rutledge in the fourth. Gale Woods’ leadoff single, stolen base and heads-up scoring on a throwing error put Volunteer up 3-1 in the fifth. Tyler Carter tallied the final run in the sixth on an RBI sacrifice by Jake Rogers.
“We kept hanging around. We are starting to do some things well. If at least not get hits then timely at-bats when we need them,” said Volunteer coach Daris Greene. “And I can’t say enough about Chris. The last two times out he’s pitched great. This is a game we have to win and he came out and got it done.”
Central’s two-out, two-run sixth, courtesy of RBIs from Bryce Buckland and Ty Spriggs, pulled the Cougars close before Wilmot ended the inning with a strikeout.
Though Central coach Brian Barbour wanted a victory, he said he likes the positive attitude presented by his players all season.
“I was proud the way our guys came back. We started flat tonight and came alive. These kids don’t quit. They keep coming back and I am very proud of that,” said Barbour. “All season it would have been easy to fold our tents and quit, but they keep coming back and tomorrow will be a new day.”