Mustangs Complete Comeback Against Flucos

Mustangs complete comeback against Flucos

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In the first two innings Monticello saw a three walks, two errors, two hits and a sacrifice fly result in five runs for Fluvanna while its first six batters sat down in order. Everything changed in the third when Mustangs starter Kyle Jacobson retired the side on a pair of strikeouts and a groundout. Then the bottom of the order reached base and plated to make it a game. Over the next three innings Monticello tacked on four more runs to take the lead before hanging on in a wild seventh to earn a 7-6 win.

Kyle Jacobson earned the complete game victory for Monticello and also had a 2-run double.

“It’s not how you start, but how you finish,” Hunt said. “When the other team gets crooked numbers early in the game, you can always scratch and get your nose back in it because its hard to hold momentum that long. But I have to tip my cap to Kyle, he got rattled early and came back. It’s hard for a lot of guys to do that and he responded very well and then the rest of the team responded well. We sacrificed a couple of outs to move runners up, and it just so happened that the baseball gods shined on us tonight.”

The first run in the first was walked in and 2-run double from Zach Crawford followed by a sacrifice fly Mason Barringer account for the Flucos first four runs. Then in the second Fluvanna got a leadoff single from Brandon Herndon who was bunted to second and scored when Nolan Radcliffe reached first on an error.

Monticello’s offense came to life in the bottom of the third when Bobby Anders, Frank Saxton and Devin Dickerson all reached base on a walk and two errors that allowed Anders to get home. Max Mann then brought Saxton and Dickerson in on a sacrifice fly to center field and an errant throw.

In the top of the fourth Fluvanna looked like it was going to go off for another big rally after it loaded the bases with nobody out on a Jalen Harrison double and two walks. However, Jacobson managed to get out of the jam getting the first out on a ground ball hit right at him and then a 1-2-3 double play the very next at bat.

“You can always pitch and defend your way out of an inning,” Hunt said. “When you make your pitches and keep the game in front of you’ve got a chance to win. When you’re afraid to give up one run, you wind up giving up more than that. Kyle threw strikes, we got a break and got back into the dugout.”

It was the turning point.

“When it comes down to it, they got the 2-out hits and our 2-out hit went right at the guy,” said Fluvanna coach Mike Sheridan. “Hats off to them, they worked hard to get back, but I thought (our starter) Brock Harris deserved better fate than he got because he pitched his rear end off. We’ve got to make a few more defensive plays and score more when we’re given the opportunities.”

The Mustangs scored three runs with two outs between the fourth and fifth innings. First a 2-out double from Anders set up Saxton for an RBI single in the fourth. The next inning Connor Lilley doubled with two outs and the Flucos chose to fill the open base by walking Sam Patterson. That brought up Jacobson who was intent on getting the lead.

“I wanted this ball game and had been fighting all night,” Jacobson said. “When I came up to the plate I was just able to get the job done.”

Jacobson cranked a double to the gap that allowed Lilley and Patterson to both score to make it a 6-5 game in favor of the Mustangs. In the sixth, Monticello added an insurance run that proved invaluable when Saxton reached base on a fielder’s choice, stole second base, moved to third on a strikeout in the dirt and finally crossed home plate on a wild pitch.

The top of the seventh provided a fitting finish with the Flucos loading the bases with one out. Fluvanna made it a one run game on a pop-fly hit to right field that Monticello dropped. While the miscue allowed Radcliffe to score from third, the runner at first had to hold to avoid the possibility of a double play. Monticello was able to pick up the second out of the inning by getting the ball to second for the force. With two outs and runners on the corners, Barringer hit a flair to right, but the Mustangs defense did not buckle and caught the fly to end the game.

Harris threw all six innings for Fluvanna, striking out eight batters along the way. Jacobson earned the complete game win and fanned six batters as he flourished behind the effectiveness of his curveball.

“Early in the game my curve was working best and coach saw that,” Jacobson said. “After the second I really started throwing a lot more of it, mixing up my pitches. Those guys were dead fastball hitters so you had to keep them off balance.”

Fluvanna (7-7, 1-3 Jefferson District) travels to Western Albemarle on Thursday at 6 p.m.

Monticello (6-6, 2-2) hosts Louisa County also on Thursday at 6 p.m.

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