Sean Gorman / The Duncan Banner
The Duncan Banner
In the last game at Sportsman’s Park of their careers, the Duncan baseball team’s senior class gave themselves as memorable a sendoff as anyone could script Thursday.
Playing on senior night, the Demons beat Del City in dramatic fashion for the second time this week, scoring on a walkoff single by DJ Schornick in the bottom of the eighth inning to an 8-7 home win.
“We leaned on our seniors tonight, I’m just so happy and proud of all of them,” Demons coach Tim Hightower said. “We didn’t have a great start today, but hung in there, battled back and did enough in the end.”
It was an uncharacteristic start for the Demons, as they allowed five runs on four hits in the first inning. The comeback for Duncan began in the second, when senior Ryan Haley laced an RBI double to right center to score Schornick and Haley.
The Eagles extended their lead to 6-2 in the third, but Duncan wasted no time to respond in inning’s bottom half.
Mason Hightower blasted his second line single down the third base line of the game and senior Brian Bradbury added a single of his own with a line drive to left. Norton took advantage, scoring Hightower from second on a ground ball up the middle. Junior John Campbell then added to the rally, scoring Bradbury and Norton by placing a line drive double to deep left field.
The next time Duncan would score was when it counted most. Down two in the bottom of the seventh, Campbell picked up his fourth hit of the game with an RBI double to deep center field. After Taber Kaspereit got on base with a bunt single, Campbell tried to tie things up on a Haley grounder to short, but was thrown out in a close play at home. Dillon Stanley made sure that would not be the end, tying the game and bringing home Kaspereit on a bunt.
Del City got out of the jam, forcing Bradbury into a ground out to second, but Stanley kept them in check to set up Duncan with a chance to win in the eighth.
In timely fashion, it was three Duncan seniors that helped bring home the winning run. Tanner Norton led off the eighth with a double, Riley Peters moved Norton to third with a successful bunt and DJ Schornick delivered the final punch, smacking an RBI ground ball through the left side of the infield to score Norton and give Duncan a victory.
Stanley kept the Demons in the game from the moment he stepped on the mound midway through the fourth inning, allowing just one run in four and two thirds innings of work.
Duncan’s seniors: Bradbury, Haley, Norton, Peters, Schornick, Stanley and Cade Baldwin, were honored by their parents and coaches with a ceremony after the game.
The Demons fate remains to be seen, as their destination for its district tournament will be announced Monday.