Boyd-Buchanan baseball coach Josh Rider would like to see his Buccaneers play better defense, but wins rank higher on the priority list, especially when they come over a big district foe.
Such was the case at the Bucs' home field Monday afternoon as they rallied to beat the Silverdale Seahawks by a 7-5 final.
The Buccaneers improve to 6-8 overall and 1-0 in District 5-A while Silverdale falls to 6-4 overall and 0-1 in district play.
"We just need to play better defense as we need to support our pitchers better," said Rider after his team had rallied for five runs in the fifth inning to overcome an early Seahawk lead.
"That wasn't too bad as we finally broke through and started driving the baseball. We'll take it any way we can get it. Skyler pitched an exceptional game as he battled through some questionable defense. And what about that final double play? That was a freshman shortstop making the throw to a freshman first baseman," Rider praised the effort of Cade Evans, who fielded a grounder with two Seahawks aboard and fired to Colby Morgan at first.
The throw was a bit high, but Morgan made a spectacular leaping grab and alertly made the tag on River Crowther to end the game.
The Seahawks took the early lead with three runs in the first before Boyd-Buchanan trimmed the difference to one with two runs in the bottom of the first.
Nothing happened in the next three innings, but the Seahawks extended the lead to 4-2 with a single tally in the fifth before the Buccaneers took the lead for good with five runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Silverdale put two runners on with one out in the seventh and that's when Rider replaced starting pitcher Skylar Anderson with Jim Cardwell.
Cardwell allowed a walk to Noah Rogers to load the bases before hitting Jordan Delashmitt with a pitch to force in the fifth run before the game-ending double play.
"I thought that we outplayed them except for that one inning, but give Boyd-Buchanan a lot of credit. They got the hits when they needed them," said Seahawk coach Jonathan Adcock afterward.
"We have a bunch of young guys this year, but we have to learn how to win games like this. We gave them some opportunities with bad defense and they gave us some, so we have to improve on that.
"We didn't play very well defensively. Then we started getting the ball up and they made us pay. The good news is that we get to play again tomorrow," Adcock nodded with smile.
Delashmitt led off the game with a double to right-center and he scored the first run on a single by Crowther. Michael Hawkins then reached on a two-out error before Christian Rogers ripped a two-run double to plate Crowther and Hawkins.
Cardwell led off the first for the Bucs with a single and scored on a single by Nathan Murrell after stealing second. Murrell advanced on a single by Morgan and scored on a groundout by E.J. Matthews.
Christian Rogers scored the fourth run for Silverdale when a pickoff attempt to first bounced away as he skipped home from third after advancing on a Buccaneer error and a sacrifice bunt by Matt Millard.
Then the home-standing Bucs had one of their biggest innings of the season as they took the lead with five runs after sending 11 batters to the plate.
Cardwell reached on a one-out single, advanced to second on a bad pickoff attempt and then third on a stolen base before scoring on a single by Evans.
Evans stole second and scored the second run on a double by Murrell. Morgan followed with another single to drive in Murrell while Morgan then scored the fourth run on a single by E.J. Matthews.
Millard then came in to relieve Silverdale starter Josiah Green before walking Anderson and hitting Josh Antwine to load the bases. Millard then plunked pinch-hitter Hunter Payne to drive in Matthews with the final run of the inning.
Anderson pitched around a single and an error in the sixth to deny any Silverdale runs before being replaced by Cardwell with one out and two on in the seventh.
The Bucs finished the game with seven runs on eight hits while commiting four errors.
Cardwell, Murrell and Morgan all had two hits for the Bucs while Evans and Matthews both had those run-scoring singles.
Silverdale countered with five runs on nine hits. The Seahawks finished the game with three errors.
Delashmitt and Christian Rogers both had a pair of hits for the Seahawks while Chance Brown, Colton Rogers, Crowther, Green and Millard had one apiece.
Anderson went six and a third innings to pick up his second win as he struck out five and walked one while hitting a pair. Cardwell earned his second save of the young season.
Green was the starter and loser for Silverdale who recorded one out in the fifth before being relieved by Millard. Green is 2-1 now after allowing all eight Buccaneer hits. He also had two strikeouts and two walks.
"Josiah has been our go-to guy all season and he's won some big games, but he wasn't as sharp today as he has been," Adcock explained.
These same two teams will play at Silverdale on Tuesday afternoon with the first pitch slated for 5 p.m.
SILVERDALE 300 010 1 -- 5 9 3
BOYD-BUCHANAN 200 050 x -- 7 8 4
Green, Millard (5) and Brown; Anderson, Cardwell (7) and Antwine.
(email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@Comcast.net)