WALKER -- With pitcher Brennan Major on the mound, Walker High knew it only needed a few runs to come out on top Monday night.
That didn’t make the Wildcats' 3-1 win against Denham Springs High any easier.
Major and Yellow Jackets starter David Frye went pitch-for-pitch during the summer Metro League matchup, neither side affording the other an inch to work with on the base paths.
After five innings of one-hit baseball, it was Major who cracked first, allowing an RBI-single off the bat of third baseman Noah Juan.
But the Wildcats finally found the offensive support they so desperately needed in the bottom half of the 6th on a three-run rally to steal the victory.
“We’ve played like this all summer,” Walker coach Randy Sandifer said. “We’ve been in close games and we’ve come in on the short end. Tonight we had the couple extra hits. But it was really about Brennan. … He got into some areas that he’s not familiar with and that was good to see. He got himself into some jams there and was able to get out.”
Major went the seven-inning distance against the cross-parish rival, finishing the game off on his 100th pitch — a called strike three for his fifth strikeout. He allowed three hits and walked three.
Major, the rising senior, almost didn’t make it that far, though. He normally goes three to four innings, Sandifer said, but during a mound visit in the 6th, Major assured him he could finish the game.
Since it’s only the summer, Sandifer wanted to see how he handled the adversity. As it turned out, it was a call that would seal the win.
“I was a little tired in the last inning,” Major said. “But coach asked me if I’m still pitching this inning and I said, ‘Yes sir.' My shoulder is feeling great. I’m not hurting.’”
Despite Frye matching Major, the Yellow Jackets couldn’t adjust to their opponents' velocity at the plate, thus falling short of a comeback rally.
Frye gave up just two hits in his five innings before getting pulled in the 6th after walking the first two batters. Denham Springs did not know it at the time, but those runners became the game-winning runs, thanks in part to a throwing error later in the inning.
Even with the loss, coach Denham Springs Mark Carroll said it was some of the hardest throwing he’s seen out of Frye this summer and was pleased with his overall performance.
The loss is the second straight for Denham Springs after dropping a game 8-3 to The Dunham School last week.
“Walks and errors, that’s what loses games all the time,” Carroll said. “You walk two guys and make an error on top of it, that opens the door for a three-run inning. I thought their guy on the mound did a great job for them. We did a very, very poor job of adjusting to his velocity, but we’ll work on that.”