Patriots rally in final inning to steal win

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 28, 2003

Timing is everything.

Hitless in five previous trips to the plate in Sunday’s doubleheader, Wallace State’s best hitter, Matt Norris, had a chance to redeem himself in the seventh inning of the final game.

With the bags full of teammates and his squad down 5-3, Norris watched a pair of fastballs steam straight down the pipe without getting the bat off his shoulder. Then, the sweet-swinging center fielder crushed a Brett McCullough offering to right field.

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It was.

Michael Corrigan, pinch-runner Craig Roy and John Byrd all motored around the bases to score.

Norris ended up on third.

Norris’ hit completed an impressive Wallace State comeback.

After getting clobbered 13-0 in the first game, Wallace showed huge improvement just keeping it close in the second.

Byrd went the distance on the mound for Wallace.

He allowed a run in each of the first four innings, but got stronger as the game wore on.

Byrd pitched seven innings, allowed five runs on 10 hits and walked two.

He struck out six and with a defense that committed three errors behind him.

Dustin Noles was the Patriots most consistent hitter.

He went 3 -for-3 with a double, a pair of singles, an RBI and a run scored. Michael Corrigan added a double and two runs scored.

Eric Wilkinson added a pair of singled and an RBI.

Adam Reaves, Byrd and Clint Bolden each had a hit.

McCullough went 3-for-3 with a trio of singles, a run scored and an RBI for the Eagles.

Will Brown scored twice.

Just like the first, the Eagles jumped to an early lead in the second game.

Chris Caldwell reached on an error and came around to score on a Jeff Rosser single.

Wallace scored its first run of the day when Reaves led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Noles single.

The Eagles scored a run in each of the next three innings to take a 4-1 lead.

Corrigan led off with a double in the bottom of the fifth, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a balk to cut the lead to 4-2. Things got more interesting in the sixth when Noles doubled and scored on a Wilkinson single.

In the top of the seventh, the Eagles got an insurance run.

Brown doubled and Alvin Hayes knocked him home with a single.

Down two, Wallace needed a rally in the final inning.

Corrigan led off with a walk.

Bolden singled to right and was replaced by Roy.

After a failed bunt made the first out of the inning, Byrd singled to right to load the bases for Norris who blasted a shot down the line in right field for the win.