It appears the tide has turned on 8-5 leads with three outs to go for the Seymour varsity baseball team.
In a good way.
Two weeks ago in home action against Summit Conference front-runner Hartville, the host Tigers led the rival Eagles by an 8-5 count entering the final frame.
Hartville scored three runs to tie the contest and won in extra innings.
Last Thursday in home action against another conference opponent, Conway, the exact same scenario arose.
Seymour led 8-5 entering the seventh inning.
This time, the Tigers held on for the victory.
But not before some intensity.
The Tigers won 8-7 to improve their fall record above the .500 mark to 3-2.
“We wanted to make it interesting at the end,” Tiger head coach Jason Duey said with a smile minutes after Thursday’s game ended.
“This often is what you get with a young team. We are going to make mistakes. We are growing up by playing these types of games. But this group of boys has a lot of heart and a lot of fight. That showed in this game.”
Conway drew first blood Thursday, scoring a single run in the top of the opening frame, then Seymour bounced back with four runs in the inning’s bottom half to lead 4-1.
After four frames, the Tigers led 6-1.
Conway’s Bears narrowed the deficit to 6-4 in the top of the fifth inning, but Seymour bounced back with two runs of its own to lead 8-4 after five innings.
A single Conway run cut the Tiger lead to 8-5 after six frames.
Then the Bears scored two runs in the seventh to cut the Seymour lead to 8-7. The tying run was on third base when junior pitcher Payton Bryant induced a pop out behind home plate that was caught by senior catcher Nathaniel Hosiner for the third out.
“We’re going to have a lot of games this fall and spring that likely will end like this,” Duey said. “We are playing a very young lineup, with lots of kids seeing their first varsity action this fall.”
Trial by fire?
“That’s a good way to put it,” Duey said, smiling.
“There’s really no better way to learn.”
Hosiner recorded the pitching victory, his second of the fall campaign.
He was on the mound for the first five innings, allowing four runs on eight hits. He struck out 10 and walked three.
Bryant earned the save by pitching the final two frames.
He gave up three runs on four hits while striking out three.
He also issued one walk.
“Nathaniel gave us a solid start by getting through five innings and getting big outs when we needed them,” Duey said. “I also felt Payton came in and gave us a great effort in relief. We needed him to get six outs, and he got them.”
Bryant also paced the Tiger offense by going 3-for-3 with two runs scored. He added four stolen bases and drew one walk.
Hosiner added a single, walk and scored a run.
Freshmen infielders Brayden Baker and Luke Rasmussen, playing at shortstop and second base, respectively, were solid offensive contributors.
Baker singled, scored a run, led the team with two runs batted in (RBIs), drew a walk and even swiped a base.
Rasmussen had a single, walk, one run scored, one RBI and three stolen bases.
Junior Brycen Owens singled, scored and had one RBI, while classmate Canaan Park and sophomore Derek Akers each scored a run.
The Tigers had a total of 10 stolen bases.
Seymour committed only a single fielding error.
Next action for the Tigers arrives at 5 p.m. this Thursday when Class 1 state power Weaubleau visits.
On Monday, Fordland comes to Seymour for a conference contest that starts at 4:30 p.m.