It's never too late for the Chattanooga Christian Charger baseball team.
Winning for the second-straight day in their final at-bat, the Chargers improved to 10-3 overall and 7-1 in District 7-AA following Tuesday's 6-5 victory at Notre Dame's Hunter Field.
Jack Bosworth was the hero on Monday when the Chargers rallied for a 7-6 win in 10 innings, but it was Mac Cochran and John Alston's turn to be the stars of the game on Tuesday.
Cochran's sacrifice fly sent Brandon Mason home with the go-ahead run while Alston's infield hit with the bases loaded drove in Bosworth with the eventual winning run as Notre Dame made it close with a run in the bottom of the seventh.
Senior Logan Phillips went the distance to get his third win of the season without a defeat as he scattered nine hits while walking four and hitting one. He also had seven strikeouts and seemed able to make good pitches in every situation where necessary.
"It was an intense game as always with Notre Dame, but we've learned that we can never give up," Phillips said before heading toward the parking lot.
"A few of my pitches could have had better location, but my team made a lot of great plays behind me. My goal was to throw strikes and that's what I tried to do, but I have to have a good defense behind me and they deserve all the credit," he added.
The Chargers fell behind early as Notre Dame scored twice in its first at-bat.
Jared Andrews led off with a single and went to third on back-to-back stolen bases. Gage Miller followed with a walk and went to second on the double steal. Andrews then scored on a wild pitch while Miller scooted home when the relay from catcher Josh Taylor to Phillips at home was wild.
CCS cut that lead in half with a run in the second. Phillips singled and went to second on the first of six Notre Dame errors. Jared Miller reached on another Irish error as Phillips advanced to third before scoring on a sacrifice bunt by Alston.
Two more miscues in the third allowed the Chargers to take the lead at 3-2. Mason reached on a dropped fly to right before Bosworth punched a single to right-center. Taylor's single to right scored Mason while Bosworth raced home on a boot by the Notre Dame shortstop.
Notre Dame regained the lead with two runs in the third. Miller led off with a single before starting pitcher Alex Darras reached on a bunt down the line toward third. Both scored when second baseman Joey Gryzbowski roped a two-run single toward the corner in right.
A long home run to right by Miller knotted the score at 4-4 in the sixth before the Chargers added two more in the seventh.
Quintin Buckman slammed a solo homer with one out in the seventh, but Phillips retired the final two Irish hitters on strikeouts to end the game.
"This is our third game with them and we've won all three," began CCS coach Joel Johnson after a brief post-game talk with his players.
"I'm really happy that we won, but I'm not so happy with the way we did it as we didn't have very many good at-bats. I'm beginning to like the character of this team as we seem to find ways to win, even when we don't play well.
"I was really proud of Logan Phillips as he really battled today. He wasn't on his game at the start, but I think there was only one really hard-hi t ball the entire game," Johnson added.
Notre Dame coach Greg Elie pointed to his team's defense -- or lack of -- as one of their biggest problems on Tuesday.
"You can't win many games when you make six errors. You have to execute in the field and we didn't, but that's baseball," he began.
"I thought Alex did a good job of keeping us in the game. We still had a shot there at the end. We had to put it all together at some point and I'm confident that we will as it's still a long season with a lot of games to be played," Elie added.
The victorious Chargers finished with six runs on seven hits and one error. Miller was the only CCS player with two hits.
The Irish finished with five runs on nine hits and six errors.
Andrews, Darras and Buckman all had two hits apiece while Andrew Lewis Gryzbowski and Miller all finished with one.
Connor Simpson, who came in to relieve Darras with two outs in the sixth, was tagged with the loss after surrendering the two runs in the seventh. He also allowed three hits in that stint while hitting three CCS hitters.
Darras probably deserved better fate after allowing four runs on four hits. He also had eight strikeouts while walking two and hitting one.
The Chargers return to action with a game at Signal Mountain on Wednesday with the first pitch set for 4:30. Notre Dame will play again on Monday when Signal Mountain comes to visit.
CHATT. CHRISTIAN 012 001 2 -- 6 7 1
NOTRE DAME 202 000 1 -- 5 9 6
Phillips and Taylor; Darras, Simpson (6) and McGuire.
(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@Comcast.net)