Walkoff homer lifts Patriots over Knights
Sophomore Eurndraus Bryant hit a walkoff homer Friday to give Fort Dorchester a 5-4 win over Stratford.
Stratford had all the momentum and a 4-3 lead entering the bottom half of the seventh inning in North Charleston but then things went south for the Knights. Corey Rawlings, who started the game on the hill for the Patriots, hit a high popup that fell in the shallow outfield. Rawlings reached second on the play.
That brought Bryant, who hit a two-run homer March 8 to drive in the game-winning run in a game at Stratford, to the plate. Despite having a base open, the Knights pitched to Bryant and he hit a pitch directly over the 350-yard sign in center field for another two-run homer to clinch the Patriots fourth straight win.
“I was nervous but this is a big game so I knew I needed to hit the ball,” Bryant said. “I knew I would need a perfect pitch and it just happened to be there.”
With the help of some base on balls, the Patriots went up 3-1. But the Fort then made some critical errors in the field to allow Stratford to tie the game. Stratford then got a hit off reliever Ryan Boyle to drive in a run and take a 4-3 lead.
“This is just a great testament to our guys not quitting,” Fort Dorchester coach Jack Radcliffe said. “We were patient at the plate. We did a great job of not being overly aggressive and were able to put some guys on base. But Stratford is a good team. They are a little young, but they have already beat Ashley Ridge twice and Beaufort once so this is a good measuring stick for us. If we can beat a team like that, maybe we can do something in our region.”
Boyle picked up the pitching win to improve his record to 2-1. The Patriots improved to 5-3 on the season and are looking to extend their winning streak Wednesday when they open region play in Beaufort. They then return home to host Ashley Ridge Friday.
Radcliffe said he is excited about his young team and his new coaching staff, which includes assistants Mark Henderson, Ryan Charpia, Tyler LaPrad and Jimmy Duke.
“I have some new coaches helping me out this year and they are doing a great job,” he said. “Mark and Tyler both played for me and Ryan was also a heck of a ball player. The work they are putting in with these kids is making an impact. Jimmy keeps our book and does a good job of providing moral support for the kids.”
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org