Chiefland picks 6th

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Use big inning to rally past Branford

By Mike Capshaw, Staff Writer

When Josh Martinez fell behind 0-2 in the count with two outs in the sixth inning against Branford, Chiefland players started searching for their gloves in the dugout.

It wasn’t that they didn’t have confidence in their teammate. It’s just that the odds are stacked against any batter getting on base when down 0-2, and players figured they’d be heading out to play defense in a matter of seconds.

Minutes later, however, after fouling off several pitches, Martinez finally worked a full-count walk. It was one of two full-count walks in an inning that saw the resilient Indians score six runs with two outs on their way to a 6-1 win.

“We talked about (scoring with two outs) because I felt like we didn’t show a lot of emotion until that point,” said Chiefland coach Kyle Parnell. “We continued to fight and find a way to win and a lot of teams wouldn’t have done that after falling behind 1-0 that late in the game.”

Brent Slaughter, who led the sixth inning off by lacing a single up the middle, pitched five shutout innings for the Indians before being relieved by Timmy Reidy at the start the sixth inning. Slaughter  would’ve pitched longer, but the senior was on a 65-pitch count for the early season game.

“He’s a guy with a real strong arm,” Parnell said. “He’s a fierce competitor and he had a good night. He had pretty good control and we were able to make some plays behind him.”

After Slaughter’s single to lead off the sixth, he advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Jake Reidy hit a pop up that was ruled an RBI double after Branford’s right fielder failed to get a glove on the ball. An intentional walk to Bo Beauchamp loaded the bases, Martinez’ walk evened the score at 1-all. James Corbin, pinch running for Jake Reidy, scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball. 

Travis Wain then hammered a two-run double down the left-field line. Cole Parks and Timmy Reidy followed with RBI singles to add insurance and complete the sixth-inning rally.

“We had some disciplined at bats and a couple of key hits, so we were fortunate,” Parnell said. “We had run ourselves out of a couple of  innings. We still have a lot of areas we need to improve on and I think we will.”

After struggling in the sixth, Timmy Reidy, with the help of a sliding catch by Bo Beauchamp in foul territory, retired three of the four batters he faced in the seventh to record the win.

Chiefland improves to 2-1 overall and 2-0 in District 5-2A play with the victory.