The Indians played a mighty 7-3 game as they faced the undefeated Hamilton County high school.
They battled a powerful Trojan team, with talented players of tall, large builds scouting for blood. The Trojans were undefeated prior to the matchup.
Chiefland faced back-to-back losses to Interlachen and Dixie County, respectively, and pushed for a comeback win.
“You got beat last night but tomorrow’s a new day,” head coach Chad Brock said to the team.
The teams played neck and neck through the matchup’s entirety, with pop flies and strong hit fouls dominating gameplay.
For the first five innings, offensive production flatlined as defense flourished from both teams. Pitchers virtually dueled each other as the score stayed 1-1.
Pitcher Seth Campbell headlined the game. The sophomore threw two crisp curve balls to top off the top of the second and the fourth inning, respectively. Campbell mainly pitches a fastball-curveball combo or a fastball-changeup combo, he said.
Inning after inning, Campbell stayed on his toes while pitching. He consistently threw to first and second base to tag out runners. At least three outs occurred from tags.
Pitcher Braxton Brady dominated, too. The freshman took Campbell’s place at the top of the sixth inning after Campbell let in two runs. Brady didn’t allow any runs from Hamilton County in the seventh inning.
Sophomore Wade Gore also found success in the game with double out at the top of the third, and it sparked confidence in Chiefland.
The game took a turn for the best in the bottom of the sixth, however.
Pauses in gameplay
At the bottom of the second, a Trojan player injured himself as he attempted a catch to the outfield. The game halted for 20 minutes and an ambulance took him off the field. Chiefland players took a knee in solidarity. No updates to the player have been provided.
A hit by pitch occurred a staggering five times in favor of Chiefland and gave them a leg up at Hamilton’s pitchers’ expense. Eight grader Taylor Brown brought a runner home at the bottom of the sixth after being hit one of two times.
The Trojans overcame Chiefland in the sixth inning by one run but fell hard on the defense. Three outs were met, and the Indians took the offense. Numerous singles were met through a mixture of walks, hit by pitches and steals.
Chiefland climbed to seven points, but Hamilton’s defense defined the score. The team stacked up a series of dropped balls, hit by pitches and missed catches. Still, Chiefland’s speedy players essentially drove home a win for the team.
“That’s the way to play, boys,” a fan in the crowd said.
The crowd raved with energy as the Indians took back the night. They came together and sung “Your Love” by The Outfield and set a positive vibe in the sixth inning. Chiefland’s parents and students stood up and yelled after six players ran across home plate.
Fans from Hamilton covered the bleachers in red and black at the game’s start. After Chiefland softball’s 0-11 loss against the Trojans, the crowd grew louder and stronger as softball fans moved over to the baseball game.
The Indians take on Newberry at home on Mar. 19 at 7 p.m.