FLORENCE, S.C. — It was spectacular. More, like flock-tacular.
Florence’s Coastal Plain League team won its first game Monday since becoming the Flamingos by turning a game-ending double play to win 6-3 over Wilmington at Carolina Bank Field.
With one out and a runner on first in the top of the ninth, the Sharks’ batter lined out to second baseman Jet Weber, who then threw to first baseman Reid Brown to end it.
“We’re just excited to get (the first win) out of the way, finally,” said Flamingos coach Lane Harvey, whose team improved to 1-4. “We would have liked to have done it a couple of days ago. But we had a couple of tough losses to begin the year. But it’s just good to see the boys score some runs late there, adding insurance and coming away with the big play at the end to double them up.
“There’s a lot of excitement,” he added. “And, a little monkey-off-the-back type of deal.”
After scoring on a first-inning fielder’s choice, Florence added three more in the fourth to lead 4-2. Will Hardee and Francesco Barbieri drew bases-loaded walks, and Brown added an RBI single.
The Sharks, however, got within 4-3 when David Milam hit an RBI groundout.
Monday’s score stayed that way until the bottom of the eighth when the Flamingos added their insurance runs. Hardee drew a walk before being tripled in by Barbieri to make it 5-3.
And after Barbieri scored on an RBI groundout by Brown, Florence had a nice lead going into the bottom of the ninth despite having made five errors.
Ryan Schroeder, who relieved winning pitcher Louie Smith in the fifth, pitched through the ninth and recorded the save.
“I think we just stuck to our approach throughout the entire game, and we hadn’t done that all year,” Harvey said. “We had kind of gotten away from our approach here and there. I think the guys stuck to our approach, used the middle of the field well. And, we just had timely base knocks when we needed them there at the end.”
Harvey was especially glad those base knocks made up for five errors.
“We had five errors, and if you told me we’d have five errors and win the game, I’d call you crazy, probably,” Harvey said. “But sometimes, it just works out that way. We did a good job of minimizing the inning after we made those errors.”
The postgame celebration included the team giving Harvey the game ball.
“We’ll probably put it up somewhere; it’ll probably go to my parents’ house,” Harvey said. “My dad will probably want it.”