Conner Sharp’s walk-off hit was unusal but it got to job done.
It wasn’t a screaming liner or a hit that bounced off the outfield fence. Instead, it was a high bouncng grounder that went for an infield hit and drove home Cooper Latino with the winning run in Douglas County’s 4-3 win over Brighton April 5.
Douglas County was down 3-2 heading into a bottom of the seventh and used two singles and two hit by ptich walks to tie the game.
Sharp came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded.
“I was looking for the best pitch to go get a hit,” said Sharp. “I knew if I made contact with the ball, I’d have to run as fast as I could and that’s what I did.
I didn’t know if I could make it to first after I hit the ball but I ran there as fast as I have run.”
Douglas County, the fifth ranked team in the April 4 CHSAANow.com poll, scored both runs in the seventh inning with two outs and improved its season record to 8-1.
“We had the top of our lineup coming up in the seventh,” said Douglas County Coach Craig Gienger. “We missed a few pitches but in the end we put the ball in play and good things happened for us.
“A walk off infield hit you don’t see very often but it worked out for us.”
Douglas County outhit the Bulldogs, 10-9, with senior Tyler Stonebraker going 3-for-4 with a stolen base to lead the Huskies.
Latino had two hits and Tucker Moore, normally a catcher, pitched six innings, giving up three runs, six hits and striking out eight batters.
Latino came on in relief and got the save.
“We struggled a little defensively against Brighton (two errors) but we are very reslient,” saidnGienger. “That’s what I’ve seen a few times and that’s good to see early in the year. It’s been a great start to the season. We’ll take it one at a time and see what happens.”
Sharp, a senior first baseman, is optimistic about the remainder of the season.
“We have to keep swinging the bats and keep working working,” he said. “Our pitchers are doing great so if we keep swinging the bats we’ll be there.”