GLASGOW — The Scotties needed something to pick them back up after dropping a one-run game to a tough Central Hardin team on Tuesday, and suffering a one-run loss to Warren East on Monday.
On a five-game losing streak, the Glasgow players found themselves three outs away from a pick-me-up as they held a one-run lead over the Briar Jumpers in the top of the seventh inning Thursday night at Royse Field.
But Somerset senior Alex Ham hit a leadoff single up the middle that was followed by a walk to get runners on first and second.
And then Glasgow made a pitching change, bringing senior Thad Dial onto the mound.
“Just get out there and I have to perform for my team,” Dial said after the game. “If not, we lose — well, we get another chance, but it’s going to be tough.”
The Briar Jumpers laid down a bunt, but Dial was able to field the ball and throw it to third for the force out.
The pitcher said he fully expected Somerset to bunt the ball in that situation.
“They had runners on first and second with no outs,” Dial said. “So the logical thing right there is to lay down a bunt and get your runners on second and third.
“And he laid it down right to me, so I got it over there to third.”
Dial struck out the next batter, and later said that he just wanted to keep throwing strikes at that point.
“That’s all I can do,” he said. “Hope he misses one.”
And miss the Briar Jumper did.
With two outs and a 2-2 count, Dial launched a pitch that struck out the batter for the third out and a 5-4 victory.
“We won,” Dial said. “That’s all that matters.”
After giving up a leadoff double in the top of the first inning, the Scotties (14-14) were able to retire the Briar Jumpers (17-11) with the help of a strikeout from starting pitcher Jaydon Wells and two throws from junior third baseman Tucker Kirkpatrick — first baseman Tyler Lane tagged one of the runners out after being pulled off the bag.
Kirkpatrick got on base in the bottom of the frame after he was walked and later stole second base on a passed ball. Then Wells was walked to put Scottie runners on first and second with one out.
With two outs and runners on first and third, junior Nik Sorrell stepped up to the plate, and then Kirkpatrick scored on a passed ball to give the Scotties a 1-0 lead. Sorrell later drew a walk on a full count to put runners on first and second, but they were stranded after a fly ball was caught in the outfield.
Glasgow retired Somerset in the top of the second inning with Wells’ second strikeout of the game, but the Briar Jumpers were able to keep the Scotties from scoring in the bottom of the frame.
Somerset scored a couple of runs in the top of the third to take a 2-1 lead after an RBI sac fly by Camden Ryan and an RBI single to left field from Gavin Stephens.
With one out in the bottom of the third, junior Jaden Franklin smacked a two-run home run over the right-field fence to give Glasgow a 3-2 advantage. Then Sorrell hit a single to left field and advanced to second after the outfielder missed the ball, but the Briar Jumpers were able to strand him on base.
Somerset sophomore Kade Grundy hit a solo home run with two outs in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 3-3. After the Briar Jumpers got runners on first and second, Kirkpatrick replaced Wells on the mound for the Scotties and was able to force a pop fly to retire the side.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Lane hit a single to right-center field and later stole second on a passed ball. Senior Ryan Jones then drew a walk and raced to second while Lane ran to third after the catcher missed the pitch.
Kirkpatrick drew a walk and loaded the bases. Wells then stepped up to the plate, and on a full count, hit a sac fly that drove in a run to give Glasgow a 4-3 lead. The Scotties stole second and third base and Franklin was walked to load the bases.
With two outs and a full count, Sorrell was walked to give Glasgow a 5-3 advantage. Then Somerset replaced starting sophomore pitcher Hank McArthur with Ryan, who was able to force a ground out to end the inning.
The Scotties stopped a Somerset score in the top of the fifth inning when Kirkpatrick threw a runner out at home plate after bobbling a force out at first base.
With one out in the top of the sixth inning, Grundy completed a cycle with a triple to right-center field, later scoring to make it a one-run game — though the Briar Jumpers eventually dropped the contest.
“We hung in there and got some great pitching out of Thad Dial at the end,” Glasgow coach Sam Royse said. “Got us a win when we really needed a win to kind of sooth things a little bit.
“We got some big licks when we needed some big licks … made some really big league, Major League plays defensively today to help us out. I thought we played with pretty good effort out there today against a good baseball team, so real happy to get a win.”
The Scotties return to action against Greenwood (18-10) on Friday at home.