August 18, 2018

Diamond Braves Edge Wildcats in 18-17 Thriller

(Franklin) — The Braves varsity baseball team got a big first win of the season Wednesday night at HHS where they knocked off the visiting Villa Rica Wildcats 18-17 in thrilling extra-inning fashion on a walk-off game-winning single by Drew Wulff.

Coach Trent Bianco’s squad came from behind to defeat the Wildcats in an offensive showdown which featured 18 hits and 10 stolen bases by the Braves.

“There were a lot of times during the game where our guys could of laid down and quit,” said Bianco after the game. “Anytime you give up a big lead it definitely let’s the wind out of your sails a little bit. But our guys battled all night and I’m very proud of them.”

Brave second baseman Drew Wulff had the huge walk-off hit as the team rallied from three runs down in the bottom of the 9th inning to defeat the Wildcats

Brave second baseman Drew Wulff had the huge walk-off hit as the team rallied from three runs down in the bottom of the 9th inning to defeat the Wildcats

Bianco was not completely surprised by his team’s offensive output in the home opener. “Coming into the season we thought that this year’s team had a chance to score some runs. We swung it really Wednesday night,” added Bianco.

“After our first two games we went back to work on our approach and what we wanted to do as a team and our guys executed.”

It has been difficult for any local teams to get on track with several early season games being cancelled or postponed due to weather issues.

The Braves were down by four runs entering the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday before the huge come back. “Our guys believed we were going to win,” said Bianco.

“Even after we had some things go against us in the top half of the inning. We put together some great at bats to give ourselves a chance to win it and thankfully we came through with the big hits when we needed it.”

Zack Stephens got the win on the mound with newcomer Chandler Polk pitching two scoreless innings in relief. Polk struck out six batters while allowing no runs.

Tristan Brown was the big bat in the line-up with four hits, three runs scored, two RBI’s, and three stolen bases.

Carl Lipford and Quay Daniel also had nice performances. Lipford was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI’s, while Daniel was 3-for-5 with a triple, two runs scored, two RBI’s, and two steals.

Ultimately, Wulff’s big base hit was the most crucial. “Drew had really put together some good at bats all night but didn’t have anything to show for it,” said Bianco.

“He had hit a couple balls hard but just right at someone. He got behind in the count 0-2 and then was able to put a good swing on a pitch and smoke it up the middle. He’s really been putting in the work so it’s always good to see it when the hard work pays off in a big way.”

The Braves travel to Landmark Christian Friday afternoon (5:30 first pitch) before returning home to face rival Callaway Monday (5:30).

 

 

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