High School Baseball: Jordan 8, East Chapel Hill 7:
Published: Mar 16, 2013 06:00 AM
Modified: Mar 15, 2013 11:24 PM
DURHAM - East Chapel Hill baseball coach Phil Woodell has fished enough North Carolina lakes to recognize the catch that got away.
Woodell’s Wildcats had Jordan hooked and virtually in the bag Friday before the Falcons escaped with an 8-7 win in the first PAC-6 game of the season for both teams.
“We came out and put ourselves in a pretty good spot to win this. We just didn’t finish,” Woodell said. “Give Jordan credit for hanging in there.”
East Chapel Hill (3-3) led by as much as 7-3 in the sixth inning before Jordan (4-2) scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to win, climaxed by a two-out, walkoff double by Patrick Long that drove in Matt Tilley with the game-winning run.
It was Long’s first hit of the year.
“I’m not usually considered a big hitter,” Long said.
Jordan was within one out of losing for the second time in two days. The Falcons lost a non-conference game Thursday to Raleigh Wakefield. Instead, combined with a 10-9 win Monday over Cardinal Gibbons, Jordan won for the third time in four games.
Jordan had trailed Gibbons 9-3 before producing seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to win that non-conference game.
“We were down in a bigger hole against Cardinal Gibbons than we were against East, and that win just made our confidence sky-rocket,” Long said. “We came into the next game just pumped. Even after a loss (to Wakefield), we still felt like we had a lot of momentum.”
Jordan had plenty of reason to feel sorry for itself after East Chapel Hill jumped out to its big lead. The Falcons came into Friday already missing shortstop Wood Myer – who’s been committed for more than a year to the University of North Carolina – because of illness. And Elliott Bentley, schedule to start on the mound, could pitch only sparingly because of a dislocated finger, jammed when he slid into third base after an RBI triple on Thursday.
“We have been moving people around a little bit,” Jordan coach Devy Bell said.
When Bentley did appear in the top of the seventh – with Jordan trailing 7-4 – he was effective. He retired the first two batters he faced and picked off the one man he walked at first.
Jordan compiled nine hits total against East, with Rahim Winston (2-3), Carter Dillard (2-4), Matt Tilley (2-4, RBI) all getting two hits.
East Chapel Hill was led at the plate by freshman Connor Stough (2-4) John Page (2-33) and sophomore Bennett Byerley (2-3). Grant Neal contributed a two-RBI double that put East ahead 6-3 in the fifth inning.
East made it a 7-3 lead with a singles by Byerley, Stough and Jamari Burke, followed by a sacrifice fly from Page that scored Byerley.
Jordan began its seventh-inning rally with a walk by Winston, who scored on a error that allowed Dillard to first. Singles by Steven Oakley and Tilley then got in Dillard, making it 7-6. Max Veasey hit a sacrifice fly into center to score Oakley, giving Jordan two outs but tying the game at 7-7 to set up Long’s heroics as the next batter.
Jordan plays April 16 at East Chapel Hill.