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Walk-off double helps McDonald set Mountaineer wins record

_MG_6964Heritage’s Jared McDonald delivers to the plate on Wednesday. McDonald’s 1-0 win over William Blount gave the Mountaineer sophomore the school record for wins in a season. Photos by Jolanda Jansma

By Stefan Cooper
Blount Press Row

Funny how things work out sometimes.

Zach Price slides home with the winning run.

Zach Price slides home with the winning run.

Reilly Hill belted a drive off the left-field wall with one out in the eighth, scoring Zach Price from second, and host Heritage beat back William Blount, 1-0, in a District 4AAA pitcher’s duel on Wednesday.

Jared McDonald went the distance for the Mountaineers for the win, the victory making the sophomore right-hander (7-0) the school’s all-time leader for wins in a season.

The previous record holder?

Hill’s father, Darrell, who was in attendance on Wednesday.

“I tried not to think about it too much and just try to stay confident,” McDonald said. “I didn’t care if they hit the ball as long as they didn’t score.”

Reilly Hill coils on his game-winning smash.

Reilly Hill coils on his game-winning smash.

William Blount got to McDonald for seven hits on the day, the Governors putting the go-ahead run in scoring position seven times. McDonald got Heritage (18-10, 5-8) out of the inning on each occasion with no damage done.

In the Governor seventh, with runners at first and second and one out, McDonald snared a line drive back to the mound, wheeled and fired quickly to Hill at second for a double play.

“He (McDonald) has been in a rhythm all year,” Heritage coach Robbie Bennett said. “He had a 2-0 shutout against Maryville (last Wednesday) and he came out tonight and had an eight-inning shutout.”

Travis Moths gets locked in.

Travis Moths gets locked in.

Travis Moths took the loss for William Blount (14-13, 7-6), the Governor right-hander surrendering four hits and fanning eight. Prior to an Ethan Deakins’ leadoff single and following Chad Johnson sacrifice to start the eighth, Moths allowed a Mountaineer as far as second base only once.

“Well-played ball game,” Governor coach Justin Young said. “Both pitchers were outstanding. I felt like if we could have given Travis a run, we’d be OK. I’m not upset with the way we played. We’ve just got to put the bat on the ball.”

Deakins got the Heritage eighth started with a looping line shot to straightaway center. Johnson’s sacrifice made the play at first the only option before Hill gave a 1-1 fastball a full swing.

“He threw me two curveballs in a row,” Hill said. “I figured he wouldn’t throw me another one.”

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