Sylva-Bay took a short road trip to Stringer Tuesday night and also took a loss on the chin to the Red Devils in a 12-3 game.
The Saints grabbed an early lead on a passed ball that scored Jayden Henderson. Then, August Jones sacrificed for a run with a grounder that gave Sylva-Bay a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but that’s about all the Red Devils would allow.
Stringer head coach Wade Weathers was impressed with Sylva-Bay’s start.
“Their first pitcher [August Jones] did a really good job not walking people and throwing strikes,” he said.
Later in the game, Jasper County’s ‘Babe Ruth’, Jackson Parker, batting second in the lineup for Stringer, hit a homerun to deep center and made one of his many trots around the diamond. Nic Arender then had a 2-RBI double to hand the Red Devils a 3-2 lead.
The Saints last plate tap was on another passed ball that tied the game in the third. This was not quite the comfort level for the playoff-hungry Stringer team.
“Seems like a lot of games against good opponents lately we get in a hole that we have to climb out of. Our guys are showing the mental fortitude to keep playing the game and keep winning pitches,” explained Weathers.
The Devils’ bats caught fire in the fifth inning, and the game tilted to the home team. Stringer’s slow start was quickly forgotten. Sylva-Bay’s pitching began to struggle, and the Red Devils took advantage.
Stringer lost a close fought game against Northeast Jones Monday night before beating Sylva-Bay, and those tough losses and big opponents pay dividends, according to Weathers.
“That’s why we play the big guys like West Jones, Northeast Jones, and Taylorsville. That kind of competition gets us ready for situations like tonight where things don’t go our way. When you play those guys, things don’t always go your way,” he said.
Sylva-Bay has a lot of youth on the field, and will get better under head coach Tanner Ford, but Stringer’s youth has been a pleasant surprise to their 'ole' ball coach too.
Weathers bragged, “We have a lot of young guys stepping up. Colby Garret is always getting on base. Evan Holifield batting .450. Lance Jenkins doesn’t walk anybody. Nic Arender is an outstanding pitcher and hits the ball well. We are happy where we’re at.”
There is no better time than now for a coach to have confidence in his team. Region play is among us and post-season is nigh.
“Us and Sebastopol play next week. The winner of that will play district. Then playoffs start. We like our chances against anyone in our classification,” Weathers said.