WESTOVER — It was an afternoon for offense as the Clay-Battelle baseball team notched their first win of the season over Class A rival Trinity Christian, 13-11, after rallying back from a 9-0 down April 21, at Westwood Middle.
The Cee-Bees (1-4), under head coach Erik Pride, took advantage of an eight-run sixth inning to give the Blacksville natives their first lead of the game, after the home-team Warriors (2-9) had a ten-run mercy rule in their sights.
“I just told them to believe in themselves,” Pride said to his team after falling 9-0. “This was really good for them. A lot of young guys new to the team, guys form last year that didn’t get to play. They needed that.”
The Warriors came out swinging early, notching nine runs in the first three frames, that included seven hits and four RBIs, three of which came off the bat of senior centerfielder Caleb Moats, who finished four-for-five on the day.
During the Warriors’ onslaught, Clay-Battelle was held to a single hit behind the arm of senior ace Tucker Livengood who put in five innings of work before being relieved early in the sixth for freshman Kyler Grimes.
The Cee-Bees battled back with four runs in the fourth and one in the fifth to cut the lead, 9-5, to help setup their eight-run rally in the sixth. In that time, Clay-Battelle had five hits and four RBIs.
When asked if there was one thing or a series of moments that lead to Clay-Battelle’s comeback, Trinity coach Darrell Barnette attributed it to one thing.
“Overconfident,” he said. “They thought they had the game in hand and couldn’t close them out when they did come back. The game wasn’t over, but we treated like it was. You always have to keep your head up, keep fighting and making good decisions.”
In the final three innings, Trinity was held to two runs, with the help of reliever Wyatt Morgan, who took the mound midway in the third and allowed six hits and struck out two in his pitching debut.
Clay-Battelle will take the field again April 23 against Hundred, while Trinity will host South Harrison on April 24.