Gryphons win thriller
The Thomas Jefferson Gryphons baseball team made their home-opener an exciting one as they blew a two-run lead in the seventh inning, but scored two runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame to walk-off with a 7-6 win over the WCAA Friday afternoon at McNair Field.
Mason Martin lined a two-run single over a drawn in infield which scored Cody Carter and Kaleb Munjas to secure the victory.
“I’m pleased with the win,” said TJCA manager Chris White. “But we made too many mistakes in the field and on the bases tonight. It’s early in the season though and I think we have time to get those kinks worked out.”
TJCA (1-1) pitcher Nathaniel Devon ran into immediate trouble in the top of the first inning. After one out, he issued consecutive walks while third baseman Anthony Helton committed an error allowing Jeremiah Robinson to score. The Gryphons then garnered an 8-4-2 double play to escape the jam.
The home team went right to work in the bottom half as they plated three runs without the benefit of a hit. Mason Martin and Caleb Bishop took eight straight balls to start the inning. After a double steal, Mac Martin reached on an error, allowing both runners to score. David Mendez then brought home the elder Martin with a sacrifice fly to make the tally 3-1.
After WCAA added a run in the third and the fourth to tie the contest, the Gryphons mounted a threat in their at bat when pinch hitter Stephen Moss delivered a sharp single up the middle. He promptly stole second but was thrown out trying to swipe third.
TJCA reliever Mac Martin worked out of jam in the fifth by inducing Jamie Marshall to fly out to left field and TJCA took the lead.
Pinch hitter Cole Bennett led off with a walk and moved up on a nice sacrifice bunt by Kaleb Munjas. Bennett then moved to third base on a pass ball and came around to score when Mason Martin struck out but reached first when the ball eluded the catcher. Later in the inning, Mason scored as brother Mac stayed in a rundown long enough for TJCA to take a 5-3 lead.
The score remained the same until the top of the seventh inning. The Trailblazers Josh Walta delivered a two out, two RBI single to tie the game at 5-5. Walta then scored the go ahead run when Bishop booted the ball as the Gryphons trailed 6-5.
TJCA mounted a rally in their final at bat. Cody Carter drew leadoff walk and was sacrificed to second by Bennett. Munjas then drew another walk. After Carter moved to third on a wild pitch, Munjas took second thanks to defensive indifference, setting up Mason Martin’s heroics.
Martin’s hit allowed Mac Martin to pick up the win in relief despite giving up three runs in three innings.
Thomas Jefferson returns to the McNair Field diamond March 6 as they take on Highland Tech. First pitch is set for 6pm.
WP: Mac Martin (1-0)
LP: N. Ranard