Tyler Jarrett’s night didn’t start too well.
The recent Tunstall High School graduate and Danville 325 pitcher was pulled off the mound after facing just six Lynchburg Post 16 batters Wednesday evening, all of whom came around to score.
But by the time Jarrett returned to the mound, a lot had changed and the early-game jitters were a thing of the past.
Wednesday’s game was the next-to-last regular season outing for both Danville and Lynchburg before next week’s district tournament gets underway. And it was a wild one, producing 36 runs.
“A hitter’s paradise,” is how Altavista baseball coach and Danville assistant Kyle Hoehne described it while encouraging his players in the fourth inning, when Post 325 trailed 13-9.
He was right. Danville caught fire, shutting down the Lynchburg bats for the final three innings, and also scored eight unanswered runs to claim a 19-17 win at Heritage High School.
Danville’s Jake Waters smacked a two-run single as part of a seven-run fifth inning that gave Post 325 the lead for good.
“Those kinds of games don’t come around too often,” Danville’s Kolby Puryear said after going 3 for 5 with two RBIs and a home run in the fourth inning. “But to be honest, when they do, it’s kind of fun. It keeps you on your toes a little bit.
“All ball players like a low-scoring game, I think. But it’s good to come out here every now and then and kind of let the dogs loose, to swing away and see what happens.”
Danville trailed 13-5 after three innings. Post 325 then put up a six-spot in the fourth inning and took control in the seven-run fifth.
The win erased the efforts of Lynchburg’s Will Knight, Luke Bryant and Kyle Parker, who all had two hits apiece. Bryant also drove in three runs for Lynchburg.
Post 16’s Taylor Fisher, who entered the game with a team-best .562 average with five home runs this summer, unloaded a homer to left in the bottom of the fourth, and Knight followed with a bomb to the same spot one batter later.
“I’ve just been working at the sandlot to fix my swing,” said Fisher, a Heritage standout. “Just putting my shoulder to the ball like my trainer showed me, and I’ve just been hitting the ball.”
Lynchburg led 6-0 after one inning and tacked on two runs in the second before unloading five in the third and four more in the fourth.
But then the bats fell silent.
Danville entered the game with just nine players, and four of them pitched, with Jarrett taking the hill twice.
After getting a strong relief outing from Darius Davis for 2 1/3 innings, Danville head coach Chase Hall brought back Jarrett after Lynchburg’s Kyle Parker doubled with one out in the seventh.
Jarrett, who couldn’t record an out in the first inning, shut down Lynchburg’s comeback bid.
“Just had to try to focus even more, focus on all my pitches and give us a chance to win,” said Jarrett, who is headed to play at Cornell University. “It was important, because we battled back all night, to have a chance.”
Knight, the former Amherst County standout who now plays at VMI, has played in plenty of high-scoring games in his baseball career.
“You want to get ahead and get comfortable,” he said of Wednesday’s game. “But you can never get comfortable. They’re always fighting back and always behind you. It seemed like tonight we just could never put them away.”
Lynchburg Post 16 is now 8-3 this season. Danville is 5-4. Both teams are headed to the District F Tournament at Salem’s Kiwanis Field, which begins July 18.
“We had the lead early, but then everything kind of went downhill after that,” Fisher said of his Lynchburg squad. “We made some errors, and then the pitchers started struggling. But we just need to work as a team better, make the routine plays. We’re hitting the ball, so there’s not really much we can do at the plate.”