- Last Updated on 11:18 PM 05/09/14
- BY Joe Chandler
Halifax County High School Head Baseball Coach Kelvin Davis and his Comets players kept waiting and hoping for that one big explosive game-changing inning that could get them back into the game and into the lead.
The Comets made one good rally for two runs in the fourth inning, but it wasn't enough.
Arch-rival GW-Danville plated four runs in the first inning of Friday night's Piedmont District game at Halifax County School, added another run in the top of the third inning and hung on to edge the Comets 5-2 in the first of two meetings between the two teams.
GW's win Friday night snapped a four-game winning streak on the part of the Comets whose record dropped to 12-5 overall with the loss.
"We had opportunities," remarked Davis.
"We just didn't do it."
GW tagged Comets starting pitcher Colby Grissom for four runs and five hits in the top of the first inning and took advantage of a pair of Comets errors. The Eagles' Brad Smith knocked in two runs with a double and GW pitcher Blake Bivens drove in a run with a single to put his team up 3-0. A two-out single by George Roos and a Comets error on the play resulted in another run and a 4-0 GW lead.
GW scored its final run in the top of the third inning, that run off of Chase Wilkerson, who went to the mound at the start of the top of the third inning in relief of Grissom who broke a finger while diving to first base trying to beat out a slow rolling ball he hit in the infield in the bottom of the second inning.
Bivens held the Comets hitless through the first three innings of the game, but the Comets made things interesting with two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to make the score 5-2.
Will Harris led off with a double and Tristan Howerton followed with a triple to score Harris and make it a 5-1 score. Tyler Stephens followed Howerton's hit with a double that scored Howerton to make it the score 5-2. When the inning ended, the Comets had tagged Bivens for four hits.
The Comets got to Bivens for four more hits in the game and were able to get two runners on base in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, and get them into scoring position in both the sixth and seventh innings. However, the Comets were unable to muster any runs.
"We just didn't get the big inning that we wanted," Davis pointed out.
"We had opportunities, but just didn't get that key hit we needed."
The Comets finished with eight hits in the game, all coming in the last four innings. Dustin Crews led the way with two hits. Ryan Powell, Harris, Howerton, Stephens, Wilkerson and Thomas Cole each had one hit.
Wilkerson gave a good account of himself in his five innings of relief work on the mound. He yielded one run, struck out four GW batters and allowed five scattered hits and one walk.
"For Chase to come in like he did, I thought he did a whale of a job for us," Davis said.
"He kept them (GW) off balance. He gave us an opportunity to try to get back into the ballgame. I was very proud of Chase. This is his role. This is what he has to do."
Bivens fanned 12 Comets batters, but he gave up eighth hits and walked three batters.
"My hat goes off to our guys," Davis said.
"We banged them up pretty good. We fought and we had runners in scoring position, but we just didn't get the key hits, like has been a part of our story all season. We had runners on (base) and I thought we hit him (Bivens) pretty well.
"We helped him out a little more than I wanted to see," Davis added, "swinging at balls out of the (strike) zone. But, when good pitchers are on the mound, they will make you swing at pitches like that."
GW had 10 hits in the game, with Hunter Byrnes leading the Eagles with a 4-4 effort at the plate. Bivens and Brad Smith had two hits each and Roos and Ahmed Manigo had one hit each.
The Comets and GW will face each other again Monday at Dan Daniel Park in Danville.