Wave overcomes homer to claim win

West Point’s Gray Berry waits for a pitch in the bottom of the seventh with Drew Wright at second base.
DTL Staff

Fans of old-school pitching and defense with a flare for the dramatic would have loved West Point High’s 2-1 extra-inning high school baseball victory Thursday night over visiting Smithville.

The Wave overcame a one-out tying home run in the top of the seventh by scoring the winning run in the bottom of the eighth, using speed to take advantage of an opponent’s mistake.

The Green Wave got good pitching and collected eight hits but never could put together a big inning to put the scrappy Seminoles away.

West Point threatened in the second when Roe Ketchum worked a lead-off walk and stole second. Baker Watson laid down a perfect bunt for a single that put runners on the corners with no outs. But a strike out, ground out and pop up wasted the threat.

The Green Wave did break through in the bottom of the third when senior centerfielder Brandon Lairy laced a double to left and advanced to third on an infield single by Davion Goree, who then stole second. Gray Berry hit a ground ball to the right side that scored Lairy.

The pitchers remained in control the rest of the way until the top of the seventh. Moody struck out the lead off guy and Coach Blake Hutchison brought in Goree to try to finish things off.

But with two balls, the first batter he faced, senior Jared Johnson homered to center to tie the score and shock the Green Wave. Goree followed by hitting the next batter but recovered to strike out the final two.

The Wave had a chance in the bottom of the seventh when Drew Wright singled with one out and Lairy was hit by a pitch. But a fly ball and strike out ended that threat, sending the game into extra innings.

Goree fanned the side in the top of the eighth. In the bottom half, the Wave got started with a lead-off single to right by B.R. Watson. One out later, Baker Watson singled to right, advancing courtesy runner Garrett Edwards to second.

The speedy Edwards took third on a passed ball and raced home on an error by the third baseman to win the game for the Wave.

“Speed is an area where we are definitely better this year. We’ve got a couple of young guys who can run and added a couple of older guys this year that have really helped us out on the bases,” Hutchison said of the difference speed on the base paths made in the deciding run.

As for Goree, the senior showed his mettle.

“I am really proud of him showing some toughness. He gave up the homer then hit the next guy. After that he was lights out,” the coach said of Goree.

Smithville’s only other serious threats came in the second and fifth. In the second, starting pitcher Berry hit the lead off battered with one out, walked two more to load the bases. But in his first major outing of the season after recovering from arm soreness, Berry regained control and struck out the next two.

In the fifth with Xavier Moody on the mound, Smithville got a lead-off single and a hit batsman. But Moody got a fly out and catcher B.R. Watson gunned down a runner trying to steal third to make two outs. Another fly out ended the threat.

Berry allowed no hits and walked four while fanning seven. He gave way to Xavier Moody who went two and a third, allowing two hits while striking out three and issuing no walks.

Goree gave up just the one hit and one run, fanned all five outs, walked none and hit a batter.

Baker Watson went 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the Wave offense. Moree was 2-for-4. Lairy, B.R. Watson and Wright had the other three West Point hits. Moree stole two bases while Roe Ketchum and John Facella swiped one each.

West Point left eight runners on base while Smithville stranded nine.