By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Although the Brighton Baseball Field scoreboard read 7-1 in favor of the visiting Dyer County Choctaws, Brighton Cardinal Head Coach Michael Wickersham kept a positive attitude in his dugout.
Cardinal starter Matthew Jacome kept his head up and his teammates listened to the preaching of their skipper throughout the first four innings of the game.
The words of Coach Wick started to sink into his players minds and eventually translated into their bats in the fifth and sixth innings. Scoring a total of 9 runs, the Cardinals conquered the Choctaws 10-8.
“I just kept telling them, ‘We have to keep sticking to our process,’” Coach Wick recalled. “‘Don’t get all upset.’ I knew we were going to get to them. We kept hitting the ball hard. We were doing good things up there. If we stuck to our plan, good things were going to start happening.”
Good things were happening for Dyer County in the first four innings to build a 7-1 advantage. The score was tied 1-1 in the first inning after Dalton Rushing drove in a run for the Cardinals.
Then the Choctaws produced four runs in the second inning. Dyer County added a run in the third and fourth innings seeming to put the game away.
“It looked like we were snake bitten for a while,” Wickersham said. “Since I’ve been here, we’ve beaten some pretty good teams. But this is the first time a really good team has had a big inning and we’ve been behind by so much.
“Lately we’ve been going into the tank,” he acknowledged. “This was the first time we’ve come back and expected to win. This was a big win for us.”
Brighton’s path to victory started in the fifth inning when senior LaDarius “Dee” Williams drove in a run to make the score 7-2.
Four batters later Kyle Ginn singled in Rushing who doubled to reach base. The score was 7-3 heading into the sixth inning.
The Cardinals took full flight in that frame with 7 runs starting with another RBI from Williams. Rushing kept up his hot night with a single driving in a pair of runners to make the score 7-6.
After a Matthew Jacome single, it was Cardinal Bryson Morgan who finally gave Brighton the lead. Morgan’s triple drove in a pair of Cardinals to make the score 8-7.
Brighton received insurance when a Dyer County pitch went to the backstop bringing Morgan home. Later TJ Klutts stroked a base hit to drive in Brighton’s final run of the night to make the score 10-7.
The Choctaws managed to score one run in the seventh inning to make the score 10-8. Cardinal Will Dunlap closed out the game for the save to improve Brighton to 3-0 in District 13-3A play.
The victory boosted the Cardinals’ overall mark to 15-6.
“It puts us in the driver’s seat right now,” Wickersham concluded. “I’m liking where we are sitting right now.”