Kyle Coffey IRHS baseball

Indian River senior Kyle Coffey, right, is congratulated after scoring a run in a 12-7 win over Smyrna on Monday, March 29. Coffey picked up a relief win on the mound for the Indians on April 27.

The Indian River High School baseball team took fans on a thrill ride on Tuesday, April 27, needing 11 innings to defeat Delmar in a key Henlopen Athletic Conference baseball contest that clinched the conference’s South Division championship for the Indians.

IR sophomore Ben Cordrey lined a single on a 1-1 count that would score senior Tyler Bowen with the eventual game-winning run in the top of the 11th inning. Cordrey finished the game 2-for-6 with the all-important winning RBI.

Cordrey, Bowen and Colby Willey each had two hits in the game that saw the Indians collect just eight total hits against three Delmar pitchers. River Vickers and Roman Keith had the other hits for IR. Vickers, Cordrey and Bowen each had RBIs in the win.

“We battled, never rolled over, and never quit,” IR head coach Steve Longo said after the game. “We made the plays that we needed to make in critical situations, and that’s what kept us in the ballgame. Our pitching and defense won us this game.

“You know, eventually we were able to execute. We’ve been stressing and working on our two-strike approach as a team lately. Just trying to put the ball in play, make things happen, and that’s what you saw in the 11th inning. It’s a great team win. I’m happy for the boys. They deserve it. But the work’s just getting started.”

Kyle Coffey picked up the win in relief of Bowen, having tossed six innings of shutout, three-hit ball. He would strike out three and walk just two. Bowen started the game and covered the first five innings. He allowed the three Wildcat runs on five hits and struck out seven with one walk. Combined, the IR hurlers threw 160 pitches in the game.

“They’re two of our senior captains, our best pitchers,” Longo said of his hurlers. “They went out there and competed their butts off and kept us in that game. I mean, what can you say about Tyler Bowen? Every time he’s on the mound, we know we’re gonna get his very, very best effort. The kid loves to compete. Same as Coffey. Those two really set the tone for our boys today.”

The win improved the Indians’ overall record to 7-5 on the season, and brought to an end a two-game losing streak that included setbacks to Cape Henlopen (6-1) and Caravel Academy (10-4).

Most importantly, though, it netted them that HAC division title.

The Indians have just six games remaining in the regular season, with just two of those being home dates. On Saturday, May 8, the IR Athletic Department will honor this year’s seniors in their non-league meeting with St. Andrew’s School. The regular-season finale will also be the final home game of the year, on Wednesday, May 12, against Newark Charter School.

Softball

Indians take down Delmar

A 10-hit offensive effort proved to be enough for the Indians softball team in their 7-3 victory over host Delmar on Tuesday, April 27.

Jillian Collins, Sam Derickson and Izzy Wade each collected two hits in support of winning pitcher Kinsley Hall.

The victory left the Indians’ season record at 5-9 overall with just four games remaining in the 2021 campaign. Their next three contests are all on the road, against Sussex Tech (Thursday, April 29, after Coastal Point press time), Early College (Tuesday, May 4) and Delmarva Christian (Monday, May 10). They will close out the season with a Senior Night contest against Newark Charter on Wednesday, May 12.

Staff Reporter

Jason has been in journalism for over 20 years. He moved to Coastal Delaware in August 2017 with his daughters, Kylie, 18, and Grace, 14. He has a passion for high-school sports and especially values the relationships that he builds.