Photo by Derrick Mahone
Mundy's Mill first baseman Matt Wilson listens to coach Patrick Smith between innings Friday during the sixth-ranked Tigers' 4-3 win over Lovejoy in a Region 4-AAAA game.
Corey Harmon had a feeling that he would be called on to do some relief pitching Friday in a key Region 4-AAAA game. With starting pitcher Jerek Wright struggling, Mundy's Mill coach Patrick Smith called on Harmon in the top of the third inning.
Down a run, Harmon was superb in leading the Tigers to a comeback win on a walk-off single senior catcher Robert Bell for a 4-3 victory over Lovejoy on a breezy Friday evening.
When Harmon entered the game, the fifth-ranked Tigers were trailing 3-2 and had a runner on first after a leadoff walk Brandon Chisolm.
Harmon struke out the next batter and Chisolm was caught trying to steal second on the play.
The Wildcats ended the inning when Kenneth Hickey struck out.
In three innings of work, Wright gave up only one hit, but walked six batters and had only one strikeout. The Tigers were lucky that Lovejoy could only product three runs during that first three innings.
"Jerek didn't have his good stuff out there," Harmon said. "I pitched last week against them, so I sort of knew their hitters. I just tried to make our defense work, and I stayed calm."
Mundy's Mill tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning when freshman Rodney Smith scored on sacrifice fly to left field. Smith reached on a base hit after Rashad Crawford flied out to second base to the leadoff the inning.
Smith advanced all the way to third on a throwing error from Lovejoy's pitcher Xavier Anthony on a pickoff attempt.
Smith and Crawford played a big part in the Tigers' comeback in the seventh inning. Crawford was hit a pitch to lead off the inning, and advanced to third on a single Smith.
After Harmon flied out to first base, Bell singled to end the game.
"I just wanted to get a hit to get the run in," Bell said. "It was just one of those off days for Jerek, but he will comeback strong."
With the win, Mundy's Mill improved to 19-3 overall and 16-1 in the region while Lovejoy fell to 15-8 and 10-7 as they remained in fourth place in the standings.
Despite the loss, Lovejoy coach Craig Chatman was pleased at his team's effort. Last week, Lovejoy lost 5-0 at home to the Tigers.
Chatman praised the effort from Anthony, who went the distance and gave up nine hits and four runs while getting a pair of strikeouts.
"It was a great baseball game," Chatman said. "You got to give them (Mundy's Mill) credit. Xavier was awesome. We knew he would pitch his best in the second half of the season. If he could do it again, he would take back that hit on the leadoff batter. He was really dealing out their. We had our shots."
Coach Patrick Smith praised the effort of Harmon, who gave up only two hits in four innings while recording nine strikeouts with only one walk.
"Oh man, he played at a real high level," Smith said. "He knew he had to give his all, and then he took over the game."
Lovejoy jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning as Wright walked the first four batters to start the game. However, Mundy's Mill would cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the first when Crawford led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly to left field Patrick Smith.
"I thought Lovejoy played one of the best games of the season," Patrick Smith said. "Their kid pitched a good game."