A six-run fourth-inning rally lifted host Indian River High School over Henlopen North foe Polytech in varsity baseball play in Dagsboro on Monday, after the visitors started off with a 4-0 lead. It was IR’s second Henlopen Conference win. And last Friday, March 23, the Indians kicked off their 2018 season by defeating the Woodbridge Raiders 15-1.
On Monday, the Panthers pounced early, with a four-run second inning. Junior Austyn Clark was removed from the mound, replaced by sophomore Aaron King, who hurled 49 pitches in 3.1 innings, allowing just two hits.
IR bats came alive in the fourth and sixth innings to clinch the victory.
Senior Mark Smith led off IR’s fourth-inning getting hit by a wild pitch. Smith stole second and was doubled-in by junior Jason Killen. Junior Grant Argo was also hit by a pitch. Senior Brock Wingate followed by blasting a long shot down the left side, scoring Killen.
Senior Cole Hitch then ripped a long single that gave Argo time to reach home plate. Sophomore Tyler Kramer singled-in junior Jacob Anderson, pinch running for Hitch, and tying the game four all.
Later in the inning, with bases loaded, senior Mark Smith was smacked in the head by a wild pitch, sending junior Ryan Foxwell across the plate. The inning ended with the Indians trapped in a double play.
“We started off slow again and got ourselves in trouble at the beginning, down four-nothing,” said second year coach Derek “D.J.” Long. “That comeback was an all-around total team effort — a couple of young guys in there, 10th-graders, who came in to pitch and got us all the way to the fifth inning and kept the score where it was.
“I think that started giving us confidence we were here and the offensive guys swinging their bats late. That kid — their starter — kept switching up pitches. Later on, he started missing spots, and we started hitting some balls
“Last year, we didn’t have any comeback victories, and that was a great comeback victory against a North team,” Long added. “It’s awesome to start off the season 2-0 in the conference.”