Daily settles as Hilltoppers rally to top Patton, 5-2
R-S Central pitcher Connor Daily had a solid performance Friday night.
But, it wasn't easy.
Daily threw a complete game, striking out 13 as the Hilltoppers knocked off Patton, 5-2. That came after Daily struggled early and allowed the Panthers to take a 2-1 lead in the third inning.
“Connor threw strikes. He got stronger as the game went and when they did put it in play we may the plays behind him,” R-S Central head coach Chadd Fowler said after the win.
The Hilltoppers opened strong as Tyler Morgan reached base on a single in the bottom of the first. Morgan then stole second on a passed ball by the Panther's catcher.
Central opened the scoring as Lance Green hit a hard line drive over the pitchers mound that scored Morgan from second.
Patton came back and tied the contest after a walk by Daily with the bases loaded advanced Wyatt Flemming home. Daily then struck out the Logan Pearson to end the threat and stranded three runners for the inning.
The Panther's went to work again in the top of the third with a single up the middle by Logan Pearson. A double by Peyton Mull moved Pearson to third before a deep fly by Brock Turner scored Pearson to extend the Panther lead to 2-1.
Garran Murray opened the Hilltoppers' half of the third with a leadoff single. Patton pitcher Nathan Williams walked Morgan advancing Murray to second. Joel McDaniel hit a hard chopper towards second that was mishandled allowing Murray to score.
The Hilltoppers took a 4-2 lead on a deep fly ball to center by Lance Green that scored McDaniel and Morgan.
A couple of walks by Daily in the fourth put runners in scoring position for the Panthers but Will Owens fielded a line drive by Pearson to end the inning and turn away the scoring opportunity.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth Daniels looped a ball to center field to plate Owens and extend R-S Central's lead to 5-2. Morgan then reached first on four balls to load the bases for the Hilltoppers before a double play that ended the inning.
“We swung it a lot better tonight," Fowler said.
The Hilltoppers displayed their best defense of the night retiring five of the next six batters.