Thomas County Central finished its 2014 campaign with five wins in its final seven games, including a 4-3 win in Game 1 of Friday’s doubleheader against Harris County.
The Jackets fell behind 3-0 through the first two innings but bounced back to score a run in the third, fifth, sixth and game-winner in the seventh to secure the victory.
Catcher Alex Dukes, who’d battled a double-digit pitch count with six straight foul balls, brought home Peyton Singletary on a two-out, base hit up the middle.
Singletary had reached on a leadoff single, then moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Adam Choice.
“Alex Dukes did a phenomenal job,” Central coach Chad Parkerson said. “Our two-strike approach is to foul off whatever is close to you and force the pitcher to make your perfect pitch. More often than not, you’re not going to get that, but he found one and made it work.”
Jonathan Robinson, who started from the mound, tossed the first two outs in the seventh inning before paving way for Cooper Mayhall, who continued in Game 2.
The Jackets fell victim to Harris pitcher Drew Reeves, who Parkerson said was “filthy” from the mound in their 7-0 loss.
“That sucker can clock up to 90 on the gun, and he was spotting his fastball. You’ve just got to tip your cap to him.”
Central finishes the season 12-14, with eight of its wins on the bookends of the year.
Parkerson said resiliency among his outgoing players gives him high hopes heading into the offseason.
“We’ve got a group of seniors that overcame some serious adversity this year,” Parkerson said in reference to Central’s one-month losing skid from February to March. “The thing we’re going to remember about this group is how they finished. When their backs were against the wall, they found ways to get the job done, and more importantly, showed our younger guys how to do it.”