HONAKER, Va. —- Honaker loosened things up early. Grundy tightened things up late.
The Tigers jumped out to a six-run lead and the Golden Wave left the bases loaded in the final two innings of a 7-4 Honaker win Thursday night at Harding Field.
The Tigers (2-1) got a solo home run to center from Josh Miller and took advantage of a walk, hit batsman and a Grundy error in a 3-runsecond inning and got RBI hits from Derek Gilbert and Colby Howard in building a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the third.
"You got a heck of a pitcher on the mound in (Bub) McCoy, but I thought our kids adjusted and made their swings small like they should and I thought they did a fine job of continuing to battle with him and we got some hits to drop in," said Honaker assistant coach Chris Anderson, who is filling for ailing head coach Tom Harding. Harding, who is in his 45th season at the Tiger helm, hopes to be back in the Honaker dugout next week.
Grundy (2-3) battled back a little bit at a time. Dylan Wolford drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth and Corey Walsh and Bub McCoy drove in runs in the fifth to cut the Wave deficit to 6-3. Freshman Jordan Hardin's sharply-hit single off the third baseman scored Wolford to make it 6-4 in the sixth.
"We had a little talk in practice (Wednesday) about things that we can not do against a team like Honaker," said Grundy coach Scotty Bostic. "Early on we made a few of them. Take away those first few innings it was a real good one, but we just got to learn from it.
"Early on we were popping the ball up a lot. Toward the end we settled in a little bit, we were hitting the ball a little harder and we weren't swinging at bad pitches."
Hartley Hilton, who got the save in relief of winning pitcher Brandon Looney, lined a double down the left field line to plate a critical insurance run in the bottom of the sixth for the Tigers, who turned a huge 4-6-3 double play for the first two outs in the seventh inning.
"That double play made a big difference," Anderson said. "We played well defensively. Hats off to Grundy, they kept battling and that's a credit to coach Bostic and what he's accomplished over there."
Looney retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced. Grundy left nine runners on base in its final four at-bats.
Led by McCoy's two singles the Golden Wave had seven hits to match Honaker, which got two singles from Casey Dye.
Miller just missed a second home run to dead center field, while Grundy's Daniel Tiller just missed one to the same spot with a runner on in the fifth.
Bostic paid tribute to Harding, who has been hospitalized recently.
"I hope that coach Harding will be out here before too long. It's hard not seeing him or coach Z (recently retired Honaker assistant Alex Zachwieja) over there," he said. Hopefully, next time we're over here we'll see them, or see coach Harding at our place later this season."
Grundy..........................000 112 0 — 4 7 2
Honaker.......................033 001 x — 7 7 2
C. McCoy and J. McCoy. Looney, Dye (5), Hilton (7) and A. Parrott.
W-Looney (1-0). L-C. McCoy (1-1). HR-Miller (H), 1st, none on.