Smyrna boys rally past CR in 8-5 victory

 

CAMDEN — The Smyrna High baseball team had been knocking on the door all day.

In the final two innings, the Eagles finally blew the door down.

Smyrna scored all of its runs in the sixth and seventh innings to earn an 8-5 victory at Caesar Rodney High in Henlopen Conference Northern Division baseball action on Tuesday afternoon. The Eagles improved to 6-5 in Henlopen Conference play and 6-8 overall.

It was the third win in a row for Smyrna. The Eagles had put a runner on third in every inning except one but did not score until the top of the sixth.

“It’s a big game for sure,” said Brendan Davis who had three hits. “We struggled early in the year but we were able to clutch it out. They fought back really well but we came together and put up a few hits at the end of the game.”

Smyrna took its first lead of the day in the sixth but Caesar Rodney (8-3 conference, 10-5 overall) tied things at 2-2 on a suicide squeeze by Matt Atkinson.

The Eagles answered with six runs in the seventh.

Davis led off with a double and eventually scored on an infield hit. Layne Bell plated another run when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Dylan Leager and Mikey Carrow hit back-to-back two-RBI singles to extend the lead to 8-2. The final five runs came with two outs.

“With two outs, we didn’t want it to end,” said Nate Ridgeway who also had a two-hit game. “We just kept hitting.”

“We stranded a lot of a runners early but we kept plugging away,” said Smyrna coach Mike Henderson. “That last inning was ridiculous. We just kept coming at them. I thought we showed a lot of character. We needed this bad, it’s nice to get a W.”

Smyrna almost gave it all back in the bottom of the inning.

The first four Riders reached base all on errors. Kyle Maier then drove in a run with a single to bring the tying run to the plate with one out and two on.

But Leager was able to retire the next two hitters on groundouts.

“That could have turned ugly quick,” Henderson said. “We showed a lot of character to stop the bleeding.”

For most of this game, it looked like Smyrna was not going to be able to solve CR starter Tommy Pomatto.

Pomatto struck out eight and maneuvered his way out of danger multiple times. He stranded the bases loaded in both the second and fifth innings while also escaping the first inning unscathed despite allowing a leadoff triple.

The Eagles got two on in the top of the sixth after a walk and a pinch-hit single by Max Lattomus. Pomatto had to be removed because of pitch-count restrictions and Smyrna quickly tied it after he came out on a wild pitch.

Ridgeway then scored Lattomus with a liner up the middle for Smyrna’s first lead of the game.

“We were going for a squeeze at first but then he asked me again and I said I wanted to hit,” Ridgeway said. “Came through with a big hit right there.”

Smyrna also received a strong performance from its starting pitcher.

Andrew Unterreiner pitched into the sixth inning and scattered five hits. He struck out five and allowed an unearned run in the third while one run in the sixth inning was charged to him.

“Probably the best game of his career,” Henderson said. “He kept us in the game. He was around the plate and hitting his spots.”

 

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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