Hawks Get Confidence Reaching for Bats in Win over Yoakum
Canyon Lake’s Baseball team finally got their first district win when the Hawks used a .576 on base percentage in getting 11 runs for this come back victory.
“I had a good feeling about that 6 run inning,” Head Coach Trent Dunavant stated clairvoyantly. “I just felt something as we have been getting better every game and in every practice. The game is starting to slow down for them.”
The Yoakum Bulldogs were already chewing on their bone with a 6-2 lead after the first 3 innings but that was when the Hawks would swoop in for a steal, taking that bone from the Dogs.
CL used a 9 unanswered runs during those middle innings as Avery Montgomery settled in, on the pitching mound, while the Hawks manufactured 8 consecutive batters to reach base safely and resulting in 6 runs.
This inning had one play that would give the Hawks a ton of confidence and it came as a missed suicided squeeze play that had Cade Dunavant in a pickle being almost home and survival mode.
A missed tag at 3rd base after the Bulldogs chased the ball 3 times trying to tag Dunavant for what would be the 2nd out.
“I did not know,” Dunavant said like a deer in the headlights on his thinking when he was in limbo between 3rd and home plate. “I did not know what would happen and I just ran back to 3rd and just missed the third baseman when I dove for the bag.”
That missed bunt on the squeeze play had Parker Reno working a walk and keeping this stanza going with just one out in tack.
Dietrich would respond with a towering double into the left field gap scoring 2 Hawks.
Stafford follow-up single drove in 2 more Hawks as the inning kept on going and going…etc.
Montgomery was the first and last out in the 6 run affair and the damage inflicted was a happening not seen this season.
A lot of firsts for this year as Canyon Lake batted around with the line-up helping the Hawks to grab a lead, that would never get relinquished, for this long awaited win.
Also chasing two Bulldog pitchers was another happenstance that transpired during this 52 pitched inning on what would add some confidence for a young team in need of something good to happen.
Yoakum would not give in as they started their 6th inning with a lead off single and then 2 consecutive walks from Montgomery.
Montgomery had pitched a great game in giving up just 2 earned runs and his last 4 innings he threw just 17 balls compared to throwing 20 in the first two stanzas.
“I was just hitting the spots,” Montgomery said in response to how he changed the direction of the game. “I was throwing more change-ups and mixing up my pitches.”
But those 2 walks had Coach Dunavant visiting the mound to make a change with a 6 run lead but having Yoakum with the bases loaded and no outs.
CL has had countless innings when dominoes start to fall at an alarming rate and before you know it, looking up at the score board and seeing the opposition has manufactured or been given gifts from the Hawks to seal those losses by scoring in bunches.
“I was hoping he (Gavin Dietrich) would get the ball done and do what I did not do in that last inning,” Montgomery said in retrospect after being replaced by Dietrich.
On this afternoon, Dietrich pitched a brilliant 1-2-3 inning with 2 strikeouts and a routine ground out to end the inning. Leaving the bases loaded and no damage done to that Hawk lead.
“I knew I had to challenge them,” Dietrich was saying about how he went into the pressure cooker inning. “I have confidence and my mechanics were on and I just mixed up my pitches, but I knew I had to throw strikes.”
That last statement by Dietrich was after going down to a 3-0 count on the second Bulldog batter and then throwing 3 straight strikes with that last pitch catching the Yoakum player looking for the second out.
“I know what he (Dietrich) is thinking and I just called the pitches,” Catcher Lee Stafford said while contemplating what was going through his mind in that situation when everything was on the line. “He is a strong pitcher.”
Stafford had more hits in this game than he had gathered for the season and that was just one of many happenings Canyon Lake enjoyed on this afternoon.
“I changed my batting swing a lot and got my hands inside and started swinging through the ball,” Stafford said about his 3 hit game. “I have gotten more experience and I just ran at it aggressively and got it done.”
Dylan Hodges started the 4th and 5th inning with walks on his at bats helping to get that proverbial snowball rolling down the mountain in each of those innings.
In that 5th inning Hayden Lee laid down a perfect sacrifice moving Hodges a base and when Dunavant had his infield hit then Hodges moved to 3rd and scored on a wild pitch on Reno’s next at bat.
Those are gifts that Canyon Lake had specialized in this season and now more confidence.
Dietrich fielder’s choice scored Dunavant and then Dietrich would score after a double in the left field gap off the bat of Stafford.
Canyon Lake did allow 2 runs in that last inning but by then the writing was already on the wall and that message was a good for the Hawk’s eyes and walking off the field with a victory.
“I left a few pitches in the middle of the plate,” Dietrich responded to that last inning. “I knew I needed to finish it out and this win gives us confidence going forward.”
The little things just fell into place as Coach Dunavant substituted Isaiah Daily when he moved Dietrict to pitcher from left field.
That nugget came in handy as Daily took what looked like a sure double and more runs for Yoakum into a routine flyball out.
“That was a defensive move all the way,” Coach Dunavant said in response on why he did not stick with Montgomery in taking Dietrich’s place in left field after he was lifted.
Now CL will travel to Gonzales next Tuesday to see if they might be able to replicate another start to finish game.
The Hawks can see how this game can change what goes on between their ears as Baseball is a game of hundreds of variables, but having confidence will always help.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E Yoakum 1 4 1 0 0 0 2 8 8 1 CL Hawks 0 2 0 6 3 0 X 11 9 3 name ab r h bi 2b bb so sb misc Gavin Dietrich 4 2 2 3 1 0 0 0 Lee Stafford 4 0 3 2 1 0 0 0 Austin Brooks 3 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 fc CJ Parrish 3 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 pr Alex Conrad 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 Avery Montgomery 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 ph Isaiah Daily 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 Dylan Hodges 2 2 0 0 0 2 1 0 Hayden Reed 0 2 0 0 0 2 1 0 sac Cade Dunavant 3 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 sac roe Parker Reno 1 1 1 0 0 2 0 0 totals 23 11 9 4 2 10 3 3 pitching ip h r er bb so W L S Avery Montgomery 5 6 6 2 4 4 1 0 0 Gavin Dietrich 2 2 2 2 0 2 0 0 1 totals 7 8 8 4 4 6 1 0 1 pitches strikes/balls hit batters Avery Montgomery 89 52/37 4 Gavin Dietrich 25 16/9 0