HAVING FUN: Pam Pack, Seahawks play Easter thriller
Published 2:45 pm Monday, March 28, 2016
PINETOWN — Friday’s opener to the Northside Easter Tournament capped off in an appropriate way when local foes Washington and Southside met for the first time this season. The game was entertaining as it came down to the wire, but also demonstrated what Easter tournaments are really about — having fun.
Washington led 3-1 heading into the final inning. A comeback was within reason as Southside had the top of its order up to bat. Lawrence Brown led off with a shot over the third baseman and used his impressive speed to pick up an extra base. Demitrius Ebron grounded out to shortstop, but was able to move Brown to third base, allowing him to easily score on Will Warren’s sacrifice fly.
Down by one with two outs, the Seahawks got consecutive singles from Hunter Sparks and Josh Crance. Pam Pack pitcher Tyler Harrell hit Dylan Lewis with a pitch to load the bases, which prompted Washington to make a pitching change.
Tripp Barfield took the mound, needing just one out to escape with the win. He got behind 3-0 in the count and was in danger of walking in the tying run, but battled back to strike out Paul Radford.
That ending was a bit upsetting for Radford, who had an impressive outing pitching for the Seahawks. Even so, there were plenty of positive takeaways.
“Paul pitched a heck of a game on the mound,” said Southside coach Kevin McRoy. “No body, other than Paul, wanted him to get that hit more than me. He’s going to take it hard, but he pitched a heck of a game and kept us in it. Without him on the mound, it wouldn’t have been the way it was.”
Washington coach Kevin Leggett added, “We got the win. That’s definitely not how we wanted to win. Our offense wasn’t really there (Friday night). … We squeaked out a win and did what we needed to do. … It’s good for the guys to be in those (close-game) situations. It will help them out later in the year.”
The game may have been too close for comfort for Washington, but the Seahawks were simply proud of how close they played a 2-A rival. There was excitement and energy in the dugout throughout the game.
“I told them how proud I am of them for not just how they played in this game, but how they finished the earlier game,” McRoy said. “… A 3-2 ball game against a very good 2-A baseball team, I’m extremely pleased with our efforts.
“I told them let’s get back to playing baseball the way it’s supposed to be played. We were relaxed and having fun. When you’re relaxed and having fun, good things happen. They played really relaxed. I told them coming into the Easter tournament, we wanted to get an eye on some guys in some different positions. … They accepted it and thrived under the pressure.”