(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
CHAFFEE -- After losing two-straight games to start the SEMO Invitation tournament the Chaffee Red Devils came through with an exciting come-from-behind win over the Nixa Eagles Friday afternoon.
Trailing by a run coming in to the top of the seventh, the Red Devils tied it up before Daniel Dooley hit a game-winning line drive up the middle to score two as Chaffee won 5-4.
"We played a lot better than we have been," Daniel Dooley said. "We haven't been hitting at all lately and finally came through and hit the ball today."
After falling behind early the Red Devils rallied back to within a run leaving them trailing the Eagles 3-2 going into the seventh.
In the seventh, Andrew Dooley got the frame rolling with a lead-off single up the middle to put the tying run on first.
Next to bat Dustin Johnson hit a single of his own followed by Cody Johnson successfully bunting for a base hit to leave Chaffee with the bases loaded and no outs.
After the No. 9 hitter struck out, Cody Payne stepped up to the plate and, after shaking off his coach's suggestion to squeeze, hit a potential double play ball up the second base side.
Luckily for the Red Devils, after Nixa got the out at second a sprinting Payne beat the throw to first allowing the tying run to score.
"I asked him to squeeze and he said 'coach I'll get him in,'" Chaffee coach Aaron Horrell said. "First instinct was that's a double play and we're out of here, but he didn't hit it that hard so he was able to hustle down the line and beat it out."
Finally with runners at second and third Dooley hit the above mentioned drive up the middle easily scoring Dustin Johnson followed by Payne, who blew past his coaches stop sign.
"(Payne) was on second base and I tried to hold him up," Horrell said. "I said go on first instinct, but the kid got the ball in really quick so I tried to hold him and he ran right through it and scored.
"I told him to go early and he had his mind made up."
The move turned out big for the Red Devils as Nixa would come back to rally in the bottom of the inning scoring one before ending up with the tying run on third with two outs.
Fortunately for Chaffee, relief pitcher Andrew Dooley would get the Eagles' No. 9 hitter Evan Roberts to fly out to right to end the threat and secure the 5-4 win.
Earning the win Andrew Dooley went the final 1 2/3 innings allowing one run on two hits while striking out one.
While not the pitcher of record the Red Devils starter Andrew Terhune pitched the majority of game, going the first 5 1/3 innings allowing three runs and six hits to keep his team in the ball game.
Horrell said he was impressed with his young starter's performance.
"We went with a kid that's not real experienced," he said. "All you want from a kid like that is to come in and throw strikes and he did a great job of that today.
"He held them to three runs which is phenomenal."
On offense Chaffee had one of its better nights of the summer season, combining for 12 hits with Payne, Daniel Dooley, Walker and Cannon all contributing two hits apiece.
While he thought the offense started the day off sluggish, Andrew Dooley said things changed in the seventh inning.
"We didn't have our concentration on hitting and nobody's mind was in the game until the end," he said. "When we got that first base hit and that bunt down then we were in it and ready to go."
Chaffee 000 110 3 - 5
Nixa 200 100 1 - 4
WP -- Andrew Dooley. LP -- Athan Lummis. Multiple hitters -- (N) Evan Roberts 2-3; (C) Chris Payne 2-4, Daniel Dooley 2-4, Jared Walker 2-4, Trevor Cannon 2-3. 2B -- (C) Cannon.