Giles County fell for one of baseball’s oldest tricks Monday night against Summit and it ended up being the difference-maker in the Spartans’ 4-2 victory over the District 12-AA foe.
Tied 2-2 with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, Zach Mather wandered midway between first and second base – forcing a run down. With the Bobcat infield distracted, Will Dalton got a big enough lead at third to beat a throw from second base for the go-ahead run.
“It’s just a little gimmick play – trying to get someone to make a mistake,” Spartan coach Chad Kirby said after the game. “It works about once every ten times. We kind of got lucky and it worked right for us.”
Mather scored four pitches later on a Levi Hood single to right field for the 4-2 advantage.
Giles County looked to put themselves in position for a rally in the seventh with a one-out line drive to right field by Will McRae. Dalton got to the hit quickly though and threw a laser from the foul line to second base, catching McRae trying to stretch it into a double.
Dalton is known for his strong arm in the outfield according to Kirby – who noted the play was Dalton’s fourth assist on the young season.
“That would have brought the tying run to the plate and that’s always a scary situation,” he said. “It was huge for us.”
Mather got the win on the mound for Summit, overcoming a shaky first frame with a phenomenal final six innings.
After giving up three hits and two runs to Giles County in the top of the first, Mather dominated the remainder of the game – facing the minimum number of batters to the night’s conclusion.
“Zach’s been good for us all year,” Kirby said. “He did well at the end of last year and has continued that this year. He’s throwing strikes and locating down.”
Mather ended the night with five strikeouts, two walks, and the three first-inning hits while throwing 82 pitches in seven innings of work.
Summit chipped away at Giles County’s early lead with one-run innings in the first and third. Nick Walker scored the Spartans’ first run – stealing both second and third base before being brought home on a Dalton fielder’s choice to shortstop.
Walker was on the other end of the game-tying run in the third as his stand-up triple to left-center drove in Dale Burdick.
Summit improves their record to 8-7, 5-2 and will continue district play Tuesday with a 6:30 p.m. game at Giles County.