KAYSVILLE — Anyone who has read the children's book "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" could certainly sympathize with the Davis Darts and coach Dave Leo.
For nearly five innings, anything that could go wrong, did. A player would hit a line drive, only to have it go directly to an opponent from Weber. Close pitches were called as strikes when up to bat, or a ball for Darts' pitcher Colby Berg, who threw a complete game. Even simple plays went awry, like in the fourth inning when Weber's Taylor Shaw attempted a squeeze-play bunt that found a hole vacated by second baseman Jeremy Stringham and wound up as a two-RBI single. And to top it all off, it was Leo's 60th birthday.
Perhaps it was the fact that it was his birthday why even with everything going wrong for the first four 4 1/2 innings, Leo never lost faith in his team. He never changed his optimistic attitude that things would turn around. With that outlook, and some clutch hitting in the final three innings, Davis was able to hurdle all obstacles and overcame an 8-1 deficit to pick up a 9-8 win over Weber in Region 1 play Thursday afternoon.
"What a great present they gave me," said Leo. "This is a great group of kids and even with things going so poorly, they never gave up and kept fighting. I told them not to change a thing, that things were going to turn around for us as long as we kept our heads up and kept playing hard."
Weber took control of the game in the third and fourth innings. Scott Welch led off the third with a double, followed by a Shaw infield single. Welch scored on a wild pitch and Shaw made it 2-0 when he came home on a sacrifice fly from Kyle Oborn. The fourth saw the Warriors bat around and score five runs as Cole Abbot, Mitch Moore, Shaw, Oborn and Troy Bond all had hits. Shaw had two RBIs. Oborn added two RBIs and Bond one to extend the lead to 7-0.
Davis scored one in the bottom of the fourth, but Weber answered in the top of the fifth to give it an 8-1 lead. That's when things turned around.
Chaz Walker led off with a double and Mitch Manning knocked him in with an RBI single. Trevor Wiggins walked before Stringham hit his third consecutive single to score Manning. Wiggins scored on a passed ball, and Brad Nelson capped the five-run inning with a crushing homer to right field to pull the Darts within two.
Walker again got on base to start the sixth, and Wiggins hit an RBI single to pull within one. Will Behunin reached on a walk, and Stringham continued his amazing day with a two-RBI triple to put Davis up at 9-8. He finished 4-for-4 with three RBIs to atone for his mistake earlier on the squeeze play.
"I knew I needed to do something to make up for it," Stringham said. "(Coach) didn't really say much about it. He is always so positive and tells up to keep our heads up and we'd be back. We wanted to give coach a good 60th, and I guess we did that."