As soon as he reached the dugout in the middle of the seventh inning, Denton ace Roman Arnold walked up to coach Glen Harrison and asked if he could stay on the mound should the game go to extra innings.
Arnold, a senior, was prepared to be stubborn. It turned out he didn’t need to.
The Broncos scratched out a run off a throwing error at first base in the bottom of the seventh to beat Guyer 2-1 on Wednesday and notch their first District 5-4A win.
With runners on first and second and one out, Guyer tried to turn a double play on a grounder from Dakota Soward, but the throw to first baseman James Farris skipped under his glove and allowed Malik Minter to score the walk-off run.
“This [win] is unreal. It’s been a long time coming,” Arnold said. “I wasn’t coming out if it did [go to extra innings]. I went right up to coach and asked him, but he said he had no plans on taking me out.”
Arnold struck out seven and threw 61 of his 102 pitches for strikes in a game that started Tuesday but was suspended after the top of the second when a bank of lights along the first base line went out.
Guyer (11-10, 6-3 district) was leading 1-0 when the game was suspended and opened the bottom of the second Wednesday with Douglas Palmer on the mound instead of starter Daulton Horton. Palmer allowed only one hit, though Denton (4-17, 1-8) tied the game at 1 in the fourth on another Guyer throwing error.
Both teams had chances to break the tie sooner.
Soward looked to have beat out an infield single in the fifth. Denton scored on the play, but officials reversed the call less than a minute later, saying that Palmer — who ran over to cover first base as Farris dove to stop the ball — reached the bag first. The play ended the inning.
In the seventh, Guyer had a runner on third but couldn’t squeeze out a run off a bloop single to left by Brandon Hendricks. One batter later, Arnold ended the threat by getting Luke Cullum to hit into a double play.
Denton turned two double plays over the final two innings.
“It’s been the story of this district for us. We are right there with other teams for the most part but haven’t been able to get the breaks we needed,” Harrison said. “Guyer got its share of breaks tonight and so did we. We just managed to punch one across when we needed to.”
Guyer has lost back-to-back district games, though coach Johnny Kinzy said his team is very much in the thick of the playoff race.
“We made a couple of mistakes that we usually don’t make that led to runs,” Kinzy said. “The good news is we are still in a good position. We just couldn’t get that one break to get us over the hump.”
Denton 2, Guyer 1
WP — Roman Arnold. LP — Douglas Palmer. 2B — G: James Farris, Luke Cullum, Aaron Studdard. Records — Guyer 11-10, 6-3; Denton 4-17, 1-8