Always remember that in any sport when things aren’t going well, the good ones make an adjustment to fix it.
Three straight times Stryker’s Payton Woolace had gotten Fayette’s number three hitter Tanner Wagner to roll out to the left side.
However, Wagner made the proper alteration and drove a screaming double to the right of deep center field that chased home Tyson Bailey with the winning run in a 2-1 Eagle win at home over Stryker Wednesday in Buckeye Border Conference baseball.
“We needed a big hit out of him and he had been seeing the left fielder and center fielder playing in on him the whole game,” Eagles’ coach Matt Maginn said. “He finally got one solid. He did a good job staying back and hitting it.”
Fayette took a lead right away in the bottom of the first.
Wyatt Mitchell dropped a single into right-center and Shane Maginn followed with a base hit to put runners at first and second.
Wagner bounced to short to move them up and Jaden Fairfield followed with another ground out that plated the first run of the game.
However, the Panthers knotted the score in the succeeding at bat.
Wagner made his only mistake on the mound all day when he hit Levi Barnum with an 0-2 pitch leading off the inning.
An error and Cameron Wonders’ one-out single to left knocked home the tying tally.
Jacob Cadwell’s single and stolen base beginning the third mounted a scoring chance, but from there, Wagner was lights out retiring 14 of the last 15 Panthers.
“He has pitched well in many of his outings and we have just had some errors that let some things get away from us,” coach Maginn stated. “He is a senior that we are going to dearly miss.”
The only other Stryker scoring chance came in the sixth when Kaleb Holsopple reached on a strike three wild pitch and stole second with one out.
However, when Holsopple tried to take third, Wagner got Barnum to pop to Bailey and the Eagle second baseman got to the the bag before Holsopple could return for an inning-ending double play.
“That was big,” Maginn said of the double play. “They had been running a lot and Tyson took his time with everything and it was a big play by him to get us out of the inning.”
Bailey started the Eagles’ game-winning inning with a bunt that the throw from Barnum was wide of first, giving Fayette a leadoff base runner.
Woolace retired the next two hitters but with two outs, Wagner drilled a low fast ball over Holsopple’s head to the right of the distance marker in center for the game-winning hit.
“Hopefully things like this get more people enthused about the program and more people come out and get us a few more wins,” Maginn elaborated on. “These games are good building blocks for us and our success. Our current freshmen (six in all) are going to be key for us.”
The win was the Eagles third of the season and first in BBC play.
Wagner gave up just two hits and struck out 13 in getting the win.
Woolace allowed just five hits — two each from Mitchell and Maginn — and just one earned run.
Fayette fell at Morenci Thursday 11-1. They were at North Central Monday and then Edon on Tuesday.