Since developing an aggressive attitude, the Woodrow Wilson baseball team has been on a roll, moving closer and closer to a .500 record.
The Flying Eagles won their third consecutive game with a 3-2 victory against South Charleston on Thursday afternoon, thanks to a play that really represented what has propelled the squad of late — aggressiveness.
In a game tied 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Woodrow speedster Jay Webb took advantage of a wild pitch, breaking for home and beating a diving tag attempt to score the eventual winning run for the Flying Eagles (5-7).
“I was just trying to get the lead so we could win the game,” Webb said of the play. “I got speed, and coach tells me to take advantage whenever I can. I thought the ball was further (away) than it was. Once I got down there, I realized I couldn’t turn around, so I just went for it.”
The ball trickled past the batter’s box toward the backstop on the third-base side. Webb took off, and it appeared the catcher might try to flip the ball to the pitcher sprinting to the plate to cover, but instead the catcher dove for Webb as he slid headfirst.
Webb said he had a plan as he slid into home.
“I just figured I would reach over him and tag the back of the plate on the inside of it,” he said.
Webb’s plan worked out. The run counted, and it proved to be the difference against South Charleston (10-7).
“It’s about three games in a row we’ve been aggressive on the bases,” coach Mark Daniel said. “We got good speed. That’s what we need to do. We’re starting to get some hits. We’re putting it together. That’s three in a row.”
Daniel said the decision for Webb to break for home was Webb’s, and it was a good one.
“You can’t hesitate, just got to go, and he used good judgment,” he said.
It wasn’t the only aggressive base-running play of the day. In fact, Webb was called out in the second inning on such a play.
With Webb at second base, Cole Williams hit a grounder back to South Charleston pitcher Jerod Jobst, who threw to first for the inning’s second out. Webb never slowed his stride as he hit the third base bag and continued onward home. The throw from first to the plate was perfect and ended the inning to keep Woodrow off the scoreboard.
The Flying Eagles continued with alert and lively base running when Logan Wriston scored from second in the third inning on an RBI single to left field by Hunter Greco.
Later, Jessie Earp scored in the fourth inning when he stole third and scored on an errant throw by the catcher.
While Woodrow lit up the base paths, starting pitcher Sean Poling dealt on the mound. Poling tossed a complete game, allowing just two runs on six hits. His command was solid too, with seven strikeouts and no walks.
“He’s been steady his last three outings,” Daniel said. “He kept them offstride with his curveball. He had it working, hitting his spots. That’s a good hitting team. They’ve been averaging a lot of runs, and he did a good job with them.”
Poling said he felt great and credited his defense.
“I was hitting my spots,” he said. “Defense was working behind me. Not much more you could ask for as a pitcher. I was hitting everything. I felt great. My arm still feels good. I could go out and throw seven more.”
The Flying Eagles never led until the bottom of the sixth inning. Once they did, Poling shut the door with a 1-2-3 inning.
With the win, Woodrow improves to 3-3 in conference play.
Woodrow will be back in action when the Flying Eagles visit James Monroe at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
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Woodrow 3, South Charleston 2
WW: 001 101 X — 3 3 2
SC: 100 100 0 — 2 6 5
WW: Sean Poling and Corey Martin; SC: Jerod Jobst and Josh Burdette. Hitting — WW: Hunter Greco 1-3 (rbi), Andy Allen 1-3, Cole Williams 1-3, Logan Wriston 1-3 (2b); SC: Reece Ripley 2-4, Greg Wright 2-3 (2b, rbi), Burdette 1-3, Josh Pauley 1-3.
Records: WW: 5-7; SC: 10-7.