Keyton Nickell makes the putout and throws to first for the double play against Lenox Monday night. Photo by Jason Selby
With a majority of Wayne parents and fans gathered to honor Cassandra Darrah on the girls’ senior night, the boys were putting on their own show at the baseball diamond. With the scoreboard reading no hits, no runs and an error for the Falcons, Wayne stormed back from 3-0 to put 6 runs across the plate in the 4th inning to win 6-3. C.D. Kunzie shut down the Tigers from there, scattering 8 hits and 4 walks into no earned runs, while striking out 5 in a complete game.
The win put the Falcons back in the hunt for first place, moving their record to 10-3. Lenox dropped to 12-4.
Head coach Denver Walker made a strategic change before the game, moving Dillon Lain to catcher and Blayde Baker to designated hitter.
“After the [Clarke] tournament on Saturday, I started thinking of some ways to shake us up a little bit,” Walker said. “Familiarity is good, but I really think that change helps you grow and get better. Blayde has caught every game this season since Tyler [Jamieson] went down, and I really felt like maybe his legs could use a rest, so we put Dillon behind the plate for the first time since I've been here, and had Blayde DH. I think it really helped us out, and everyone seemed to have a little renewed vigor at the park. Dillon caught a little here and there before I got here, so it wasn't completely new to him, but he did a good job. He's a good enough athlete that I think I could put him anywhere on the field and he'd do a good job.”
In the 3rd inning, Lain almost got a big extra-base, opposite field hit with a man on, but the Tiger’s right fielder made a beautiful over-the-shoulder catch. He finished with a single and an RBI in his first game as catcher.
Kunzie is proving himself a bulldog, moving his record to 3-2, lowering his ERA to 3.15. He leads the Falcons in strikeouts with 33, as well as innings pitched. At the plate, he hit a double and scored a run.
“I sound like a broken record, but C.D. threw another great game for us,” Walker said. “He's been our workhorse all year long, and I felt like he got stronger as the game went on, and only gave up the three unearned runs in the first.”
In the top of the 4th, second baseman Keyton Nickell made a big play to keep the Falcons down only 3 runs. With a runner on first, he snagged a hard line drive, then threw to first base, where Kenton Lain stretched out to make a nice catch for the double play.
Trevor Wilson had several strong at-bats, walking twice with a double, a run and 2 RBI. Kenton Lain got 2 hits and drew a walk. Baker had a hit and a run. Cade Christian, Nickell and Chey Homann each scored a run, with Homann adding an RBI.
“Lenox is an upper echelon team in our conference, and that was a really big win for us,” Walker said. “That cements us at the top of the conference with Pleasantville and Martensdale, and luckily we have another game this year against both of them. We really control our own destiny from this point on, and can even finish with a share of the conference title if things go in our favor.”
The Falcons play a home double-header with Central Decatur tonight, and then face Pleasantville in Corydon Thursday night, looking to avenge a loss from earlier this season.