Conner Burton pitches for East Webster against Nanih Waiya on Saturday. (Submitted photo)
MABEN â€“ The East Webster High School baseball team found themselves with a big lead and then fighting to keep it.
The Wolverines beat Nanih Waiya 9-8 Saturday afternoon at the East Webster baseball field.
The Warriors found themselves down 9-8 entering the top of the seventh. East Webster head coach decided to bring back starting pitcher Conner Burton to finish the game.
"We were completely out of pitching," Johnson said. "He is a senior and he said he wanted the ball. It was really our only option."
Burton walked the first two batters, but a fielder's choice ground ball and two strikeouts ensured a victory for the Wolverines.
"When I walked the first one it was a letdown," Burton said. "I thought I might not be able to do it. My fans kept were helping me out. They were cheering me on. I had to dig down, find the faith and just had to come back and win it."
East Webster didn't waste any time and put up a five spot in the first inning to take a 5-0 lead.
"We needed it," Johnson said. "We were down in pitching. We came out and swung the bats. On Saturdays, that's what it's all about. You have to get out there and score some runs because you're generally going to be out of pitching."
Dillon Henley led off with a single and was followed by a single by Burton. A Codie Silver ground out drove in Henley.
Ty Hendrix walked and John Wofford Williams drove in Burton with a sacrifice fly.
A walk by Tyler Doss and then an infield single by Codie McKee loaded the bases.
Austin McGinnis capped the inning with a single to centerfield to plate three runs.
"(McGinnis) has been struggling," Johnson said. "I was glad to see that happen. He needed something good to happen to him."
Silver drove in Henley with a single in the second inning to push the Wolverine lead out to 6-0.
The Warriors struck back with a five-run third inning to get back into the ballgame. An error by shortstop Doss prolonged the inning and allowed three extra runs to score.
"They scored three runs after an error that should have ended the inning," Johnson said. "When you got guys out here throwing on Saturdays that are going to make them put the ball in play and if you don't make plays, you are going to give up big innings. That's what we did."
East Webster struck back for three runs in its half of the third inning. It was highlighted by Mckinley Hollenhead's RBI single.
"That's what you have to do to win," Johnson said of bouncing back. "You have to score with them. Thankfully, we did (Saturday). I'm proud of them."
The Warriors added one in the fourth on a Colby Eaves home run. Stewart Ball had a RBI triple in the sixth and later scored on a groundout to the first baseman.
McKee had three hits and Burton had two. Williams had a double, along with McKee.
East Webster 8,
Calhoun City 1
MABEN â€“ In game one of the doubleheader, Hendrix pitched a complete game two-hitter to give the Wolverines the victory.
"(Hendrix) is always consistent," Johnson said. "He had one of his worst outings (Saturday) and still struck out nine. That was not one of his better outings. That's what we have to have. When we have him on the mound, we feel like we are supposed to win."
East Webster scored one in the second, two in the third and five in the fourth inning.
"We don't have a lot of guys hitting .300 and .350 so we have to bunch things together and score some runs," Johnson said.
Calhoun City scored a run in the top of the seventh inning.
Henley and Silver led the way with three hits each. Hendrix and Doss had two hits. Doss also hit a two-run home run.
The Wolverines improved to 16-6 this season and will be back in action Monday when they play host to Eupora.
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