It was a sweet night for Darlington’s seniors
By Drake Horton, Contributing Writer
Senior night for the Darlington Falcons had a storybook feeling to it this past Thursday.
Not only did the Falcons pick up the win, defeating the Wilson Tigers 10-0 in five innings, but it received a majority of their contributions from the seniors we have come to know and love over the past four years.
But where do we begin?
First let’s start on the mound. Making maybe his last start ever at home as a Falcon, Coker College signee Drake Adams looked flawless in three innings of work, combining with sophomore Anthony Hopkins to not allow a single hit against the Tigers.
“I had a lot of help from the infield,” Adams said. “We threw strikes and they backed us up by making plays.”
And Adams did not just perform well from the mound. He was outstanding at the plate, hitting two singles and driving in a run.
And look at how the game ended.
Up 8-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning and the bases loaded, Eric McElveen stepped up to the plate and the always reliable slugger delivered, knocking in the final two runs of the game on a single to center field.
“I just tried to stay back on the ball,” McElveen said. “I was popping it up earlier in the game so I just tried to make an adjustment towards the end of the game and came through when the team needed me.”
The senior contributions did not stop there, however.
Senior Tabias Dixon, who has played every outfield position for the Falcons in his career, had a solid night at the plate going 1-2 with two RBIs.
“It’s a great way to send our seniors out,” Darlington head coach Dennis Gearhart said. “A guaranteed last game on this field they can always remember as a good one. We can come back based on playoff scenarios; we could end up with another home game, which would be a bonus for us. It’s a great way to send them out. I thought we pitched well, hit the ball hard tonight and took advantage of some free passes that they gave us.”
The first three innings were slim picking for both teams offensively as Darlington had only one hit compared to Wilson’s zero and both teams had only combined for just three base runners, two for the Falcons and one for the Tigers.
In the fourth inning, however, Wilson ran into some trouble with the first 10 pitches being anything, but pleasant.
After back-to-back walks on eight straight pitches to start the bottom half of the inning, the next batter, Adams, connected for a RBI single on the ninth pitch of the inning, giving the Falcons their first run of the game. On the tenth and next pitch, Quez Mullins ripped a RBI double.
Wilson changed pitches following the 10-pitch debacle, but it was to no avail as Matthew Demaurice walked and Dixon drilled his two-RBI single. McElveen, who finished the night with three RBIs, got his first of the night in the fourth on a sacrifice fly that finished off the scoring for the inning.
The fifth inning was more of the same as Wilson continued to miss the strike zone and Darlington continued to make them pay.
In the fifth the Falcons walked five times, including two that was with the bases loaded, Adams scored on a wild pitch and it was capped off with McElveen’s single that ended the game early.
With the win Darlington finishes the regular season 10-10 overall.