Good baseball teams know how to take advantage of opportunities.
Silverado got a big one Wednesday, and the Skyhawks capitalized.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning, the Skyhawks’ Josh Bravin hit a soft bouncer that managed to sneak beneath the glove of Coronado shortstop Cain Brady for a two-run single.
Silverado went on to score four more runs in the inning to rally for a 9-8 home victory over the Cougars. With the win, the Skyhawks claimed the Southeast League’s top seed for the Sunrise Region playoffs, while Coronado dropped to second.
Michael Meyers delivered the decisive blow, a three-run homer that capped the fifth-inning rally to give Silverado (21-8, 11-3) a 9-8 lead.
“We thought we could come back,” Meyers said. “We’ve come back in a lot of games this year. We never give up.”
The Cougars (23-7, 11-3) jumped on Silverado starter Bryan Faucher for five runs on three hits in the first. Michael Pollex highlighted the inning with a three-run homer to right.
But Silverado coach Brian Whitaker said he knew it was too early to panic.
“During the first half of the season, I would have been skeptical,” Whitaker said. “But I really felt there was a whole bunch of ballgame left.”
The Skyhawks scored a run in the second and two in the third to cut their deficit to 5-3, but that was before Coronado answered with three more runs, including back-to-back solo homers by Cody Howard and Chandler Blanchard in the fifth to extend its advantage to 8-3.
Silverado again battled back, loading the bases in the bottom of the inning on singles by Faucher, Cameron Rosser and David Kuzma.
“We were running out of outs at that point,” Whitaker said.
Bravin made it count with his two-out hit to make the score 8-5, and Mark Janosik’s RBI single made it 8-6. Meyers followed with his blast over the left-field fence to give the Skyhawks the lead for good.
“(Blanchard) hung a curveball, and I hit it hard,” said Meyers, whose team sent 12 hitters to the plate in the fifth.
Kuzma came on in relief for Silverado and retired all six batters he faced to get the save.
Kuzma and Faucher each went 2-for-3 to lead Silverado’s 14-hit attack, and teammate Marty Sifuentes went 2-for-4 with a double.