After suffering its first loss in the opener of Thursday’s doubleheader against Bishop Carroll, 8-2, Heights didn’t have long to stew about it.
Junior Korey Bice made sure the defeat wouldn’t linger, holding the Golden Eagles hitless for the first three innings of the nightcap and going the distance for a 3-2 triumph and a split.
Bice, a stocky right-hander who serves as the Falcons’ cleanup hitter, helped his cause with an RBI single in Heights’ three-run first and scored its final run on Bryce Boomsma’s groundout.
On the mound, he moved his pitches around, keeping Carroll without a hit until Shea Kelley’s one-out single to right in the fourth.
Heights (9-1, 7-1) made its three-run first off Carroll’s McCae Allen stand up, even after the Golden Eagles cut the deficit to one run on R.J. Lara’s two-run double later the fourth, scoring Kelley and Ty Seyfert.
But Bice managed to halt any Carroll threats, closing out the victory by striking out two hitters in a 1-2-3 seventh.Bice limited Carroll to four hits, walking four and striking out four, including three of the last four batters.
He said coach Jeff Topping encouraged the team to bounce back after the first loss.
“He told us not to lie down, and still play our game,” Bice said. “Work hard, like we’ve been doing at practice, and put it in game form.”
Bice said the three-run first helped as well.
“I always love pitching on top,” he said. “Our expectation was to come out here and at least beat them in one game.”
Topping said the immediate chance at redemption helped.
“We left seven guys on in the first 3-4 innings (of the opener),” he said. “We were getting guys on, but we weren’t getting them in. I told them, ‘Hey, that game’s over, and one game is not going to make our season.’
“Korey Bice was awesome on the mound. He was ahead of hitters all night long. In the sixth and seventh innings, he wasn’t backing down and had a bulldog mentality.”
The Golden Eagles (8-3, 8-2) dominated the opener, grabbing the lead with a four-run second inning and scoring twice in both the fifth and sixth.
Allen led the attack with two singles and a double and two RBIs. Seyfert and Adam Theis had two hits each and drove in a run apiece.
Carroll coach Charlie Ebright was understandably disappointed with a split after the first-game triumph.
“We’re not happy with a split,” he said. “We could have played a lot better in the second game. We had a lot of opportunities that we squandered.
“(Bice was) mixing it up pretty good. When we got our fastballs to hit, we didn’t hit them.”
Carroll 8, Heights 2
|Heights||020||000||0||—||2 5 0|
|Carroll||040||022||x||—||8 13 0|
W – Henning. L – Bechtel.
Heights 3, Carroll 2
|Heights||300||000||0||—||3 4 0|
|Carroll||000||200||0||—||2 4 1|
W – Bice. L – Allen.