Chad Sarvis has coached enough baseball to know that the games can sometimes trend ugly.
It doesn’t make them any less meaningful.
The longtime Aynor coach watched as his players squandered opportunities on the bases time and again and committed three errors. But in the end, the Blue Jackets did enough to hang on for a 7-5 Region VII-3A road victory over Waccamaw Tuesday.
“It wasn’t pretty, by no stretch,” Sarvis said. “We stranded too many runners and didn’t make some plays that let them stay in the game. That’s the game of baseball. You’ve got to have those timely hits.”
Aynor got those, mostly from the fourth inning on. It was then, trailing 4-0, that the Blue Jackets sent 11 batters to the plate, scored five and took the lead for good.
Even if Sarvis’ “too many runners” comment was a bit of an understatement — Aynor left 12 on the bases and 10 in scoring position — those big hits were prevalent, too. Daniel Stanley started off that fourth inning with an RBI single. Garrison Gasque had two more two batters later (and an insurance sacrifice fly in the seventh). Carson Krasula’s base hit evened the score and changed momentum.
“We just rally off each other,” Gasque said. “If we can piece a few hits together, it kind of stems from there.”
It also didn’t hurt that Waccamaw wasn’t playing crisp baseball either.
The inexperienced Warriors left 13 on base. In one of those odds stats both coaches would have loved to forget, the teams combined to leave at least one runner on in each half inning.
“We made too many mistakes to be in this ball game. We were lucky to be in it,” Waccamaw coach Jeff Gregory said. “We walked 10, committed six errors and still had a chance to win the ball game."
Gregory said that his team now transitions to a potential spoiler role, but that’s not entirely accurate. The winner of Friday’s series finale at Aynor stays every bit in the thick of the region title race, and certainly in line for one of the division’s two playoff spots.
Georgetown (4-1 in region and at Loris Friday) and Waccamaw (3-2) will have their two-game series to wrap up the region slate next week, while Aynor (6-1) will have to await the results, having wrapped up its own portion of the region slate. It makes this Friday’s game that much more important, and Sarvis’s message the next two days was sort of dictated for him because of game one against the Warriors.
“We were very flat out of the gate,” he said. “I don’t know if it was because it was a little bit warmer. I don’t know. We preach to our kids, ‘Don’t wait for something to happen; make something happen.’ We didn’t do that tonight. We kind of sat back and waited.”