Woodson senior Jacob Morley stepped into the batter’s box with total confidence. Despite going 0-3 against the Madison pitching staff in his first three trips to the plate, nobody on the Cavaliers, including Morley, wanted anybody else up to bat.
“Anything that he does is really not a shock,” said Woodson head coach Chris Warren. “He is the guy that you want up there.”
A roller coaster bottom of the seventh saw the Cavaliers come back from a 2-0 deficit and load up the bases with one out.
“You always get another chance,” said Morley. “That is the great thing about baseball.”
The Woodson captain connected on a pitch from Madison senior pitcher Andrew Schrock, sending a grounder up the middle for the game-winning RBI single, giving the Cavaliers the 3-2 win.
“I love that. I take pride in that. It is an honor,” said Morley when asked how he felt about being the Cavaliers’ go-to guy in clutch situations.
“The game was on the line and in a pressure situation, our guys rose to the challenge,” said Warren. “The guys battled and got on base and that is what we preach all the time. They got it done. It was a good win.”
<b>THE CAVS STARTED</b> the final frame against Madison senior ace Jesse Jeter, who came in to extinguish a rally in the fifth inning in relief of senior starting pitcher Ted Williams. Jeter struck out two batters to end the Woodson rally and followed it up by striking out the side in the sixth.
Jeter stayed in to finish out the Cavs in the seventh, but a throwing error and a bloop single gave Woodson runners at the corners with no outs. Sophomore Colin Dempsey was hit on the arm to load up the bases for the Cavaliers – and end Jeter’s night.
The Warhawks went to Schrock, who induced a slow roller to second base by junior Dylan Robeson, but another Warhawk throwing error allowed Robeson to reach safely and plated two Cavs.
“You play the game from start to finish and we just didn’t finish, which is very unusual for Madison Warhawk baseball,” said Madison head coach Mark Gjormand. “[Woodson] just stuck around and when you let teams stick around, that’s what can happen.”
The Warhawks picked off Robeson at second, but another hit batsmen and a walk loaded up the bases, setting up Morley’s heroics.
“It was one of those games where we just stayed in it and we got to the seventh and just pulled it out,” said Warren.
<b>THE WARHAWKS</b> (5-3, 2-1 Liberty) got both of their runs on solo home runs off of Woodson starting pitcher Joey Carleton, who struck out 10 Warhawks in six innings of work.
“There is no problems giving up the home run when nobody is on,” said Morley of Carleton’s outing.
“Is that the best complement that you can give?” asked Carleton, who was standing nearby.
Carleton, who was pitching for the first time since injuring his shoulder over spring break allowed four hits and walked two. Freshman Joe McGillicuddy worked a scoreless top of the seventh to pick up the win.
The win gives Woodson (4-2, 3-0) its second consecutive come-from-behind victory, as the Cavaliers came back from nine down to beat Marshall 11-10 on April 1.
“This is one of those teams that has the mentality that they can battle back and win the game,” said Warren.