By Mike McClure

The Laurel varsity baseball team was patient at the plate, producing seven runs in last Thursday’s 7-1 home win over Delmar. Bulldogs’ starting pitcher Koby Shockley allowed one run and two hits in six and a third innings before Connor Smith came in and struck out a pair to end the game.

“If our pitchers can throw strikes and we play solid defense we can make things happen,” said Laurel head coach Eric Teagle. 

Laurel third base coach/head coach Eric Teagle sends Isaiah Miller home following a Delmar error last week. Photo by Mike McClure

“It felt amazing. Every pitch was working,” Shockley said. “We hit the ball well and scored runs.”

Laurel scored a run in the bottom of the first inning when Royce Scotton led off with a walk, stole second, and went to third on an error before scoring on a sac fly by Ryan Jones. 

Delmar’s Connor Nichols drew a two-out walk and stole second before Shockley got a strikeout to end the second inning. Shockley recorded two more strikeouts in the top of the third following a single by the Wildcats’ Ayden McCauley.

The Bulldogs plated another run in the bottom of the inning. Elijah Niblett walked, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sac fly by Shockley (2-0).

In the bottom of the fourth, Smith hit a leadoff double and Trent Hendricks walked. Will Lloyd put down a sac bunt and reached first on an error, allowing Smith to score. Scotton was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Niblett reached on a fielder’s choice force out at second, which plated another run. Lloyd came home on a balk for a 5-0 Laurel lead.

Delmar loaded the bases in the top of the fifth when Nichols, John Carter Powell, and Desmond Brown each walked. Laurel turned a 6-4-3 double play, but Delmar scored a run on the play to make it 5-1. Shockley then recorded a strikeout to strand a runner.

“That double play was huge, bases loaded and no outs,” said Shockley.

“That was huge because that was more or less a rally killer,” Teagle added.

Laurel answered with a run in the bottom of the fifth. Isaiah Miller was hit by a pitch, stole second, and scored on a single by Smith.

In the bottom of the sixth, Jones reached on an infield single, Shockley walked, Boyce added an infield single to load the bases. Miller delivered a sac fly to plate a run (7-1).

Shockley entered the final inning with 98 pitches and got the final batter he faced to line out. Smith came in and struck out the two batters he faced to seal the win.

“We had to be patient, be ourselves, and hit the ball when we needed to,” said Shockley, who beat Delmar for the first time in his career. “I think we just have to keep our momentum, stay humble, and play ball.”

Shockley allowed one run on two hits with five strikeouts in six and a third innings and had a double and an RBI at the plate. Boyce collected two hits and Smith doubled, scored a run, and drove in one.