WAYNE — Scott High’s baseball team saved the best for last.
The No. 3 seeded Skyhawks scored a pair of late-inning runs to squeeze past No. 2 Wayne, 4-3 in Class AA Region 4 Section 2 action on June 1.
“It was a really good team win tonight,” said Skyhawk Coach Kris Barrett. “The motto this week was ‘win the fight’ and we went with (pitcher) Alex (Epling) tonight because of his senior leadership. His curve ball wasn’t there early tonight, and he was leaving everything up and was relying on changing speeds with his fastball, and he bulldogged his way through it tonight like seniors will do.”
Epling was still efficient, even without his best stuff early in the game when he surrendered five hits and three runs over six innings while striking out eight Pioneers.
Scott scored first in the top of the third when Luke Knight scored on an error, and Dylan Grant continued his torrid streak of hitting when he drove in Epling with a sacrifice fly from third base to put the Skyhawks up 2-0.
Wayne got two back in the fifth, when Levi Cassidy singled to plate Brayden Jackson and Chase Blatt.
Griffin Miller led Scott with a pair of hits, and Levi Cassidy went 2-for-3 at the plate for Wayne. Alex Epling got the win for Scott while going six innings and giving up three hits and three earned runs over six frames.
“He showed some grit for us tonight,” added Barrett. “We felt confident in his ability to pitch out of trouble tonight and he did that by bearing down when he had to.”
Blatt took the hard-luck loss for the Pioneers as he surrendered just one earned run and five hits over 5.1 innings while fanning five Skyhawks.
Scott advanced to face No. 1 Logan on Friday and Wayne faced No. 5 Mingo Central on Wednesday.
Barrett said he hopes the strategy of not pitching his top-of-the-order hurlers against the top-seeded Wildcats in the regular season will benefit his squad.
“They haven’t seen our top guys this season so we hope that gives us an advantage,” he concluded.
SCTT — 00 2 0 0 1 1 — 4 5 1
WYN — 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 — 3 5 1