By Rick Burnham
Chiles Head Baseball Coach Corey Pye wanted his young team to play sound baseball against Lowndes (Ga) High School Wednesday. Play sound, play loose, and, most importantly, have some fun.
They did all that and more in a come-from-behind, 7-3 win over the visiting Vikings.
Bryce Jevyak tossed six strong innings for the Timberwolves, who improved to 4-8 with the win. He saved his best for last, recording his only two strikeouts with runners on base in the sixth inning.
Davis Avera had three hits for Chiles, including a double off the centerfield wall to spark a pivotal four-run third inning. Jack Neely contributed a two-run single in the frame, while Colton Rutledge added a run-scoring hit.
Lowndes took an early 2-0 lead with a pair of unearned runs in the second. Jordan Hudson and Ashton Bohler picked up hits in the inning, but it was a bases-loaded throwing error by the Timberwolves infield that allowed the runs to score.
Chiles got a run back in their half of the inning, and they did so without the benefit of a base hit. Saunder Dinkleman reached base on a fielder’s choice, stole second, and came around to score when a low throw by Lowndes shortstop Bohler skipped past first baseman Cooper Melvin.
The Timberwolves would score their final two runs in the fourth on another double by Avera and an infield hit by Gabe Del Fuoco. A pair of bases-loaded walks – one by Will McDonald and the other by Neely – actually brought the runners home.
And then it was up to Jevyak to close the door, and he did, limiting the Vikings to only a single base hit the rest of the way.
Pye said his team is quite young and susceptible to the highs and lows of a game, so he wanted them to just focus on having fun.
“We tend to let the moment catch up with us at times,” he said. “So we wanted them to just go out and have some fun. Play loose.”
The performance by Jevyak allowed them to do just that.
“He is very consistent – he has been consistent his whole life,” Pye said. “Every time he goes out there he gives us a chance to win.”
Lowndes fell to 11-10 with the loss.
Good job fellas… stay focused on the game.