In its series opener against South Forsyth, Denmark scored once in the first inning but couldn't manufacture any additional runs until the sixth.
So after pushing across the game's first run in the opening frame of Game 2, the Danes made sure not to let up offensively, scoring in five of their six turns at bat, en route to a 9-3 victory over the War Eagles Monday at home.
“It was big to get back home and tie the series up 1-1,” Denmark head coach Jamie Corr said. “Can’t say enough about Anthony Biondo tonight, stepping up as the Monday starter, and he delivered. He gave us strong innings throughout and was really one mistake pitch away from possibly throwing a shutout.”
Biondo struck out nine and didn't walk anybody over his 5 2/3 innings. The southpaw hit a pair of batters and allowed a couple of base knocks.
His job got easier as the game went along, with the offense continuing to stretch the lead.
It started with a two-out rally in the first.
Aiden Boileau kept the inning alive with a single before a walk to Cam Kenney. Chris Bradburn followed with his first of four hits, driving in the game's first run with a single to left field.
Fifth-ranked Denmark (10-4, 2-1) doubled its lead in the second, thanks to a pair of errors by the South Forsyth (8-7, 1-2). The wheels really started to come off for the War Eagles defense in the third, when three more errors — including a two-out dropped flyball that allowed a pair of runs to score — helped the Danes extend their advantage to 6-0.
“I was proud of our hitters for fighting with two-strike counts and putting balls in play,” Corr said. “In high school baseball, errors are part of the game. If you can just put the ball in play with two strikes, good things can happen.”
Mixed in among the defensive miscues were singles by Bradburn and Francesco Capocci. The latter came in the form of a pinch-hit RBI knock with two outs.
Capocci is a mainstay in the Denmark lineup even when he isn't pitching. However, a late arrival to the ballpark related to a dual-enrollment class allowed the North Carolina signee the opportunity to make a flashy entrance.
“He’s our leader,” Corr said of Capocci. “How he goes, we go. For him to pass his midterm, get here and get a big hit for us 15 minutes after getting out of the car was huge for us.”
Bradburn continued terrorizing South Forsyth with an RBI double in the fourth inning, extending the lead to 7-0 in the process.
“With Cesco missing the first part of the game, we had to juggle the lineup a little bit,” Corr said. “Chris definitely stepped up in his absence.”
The War Eagles finally showed some signs of life in the top of the fifth.
After a pair of Biondo strikeouts, a hit batsman and a single by Landon Cane — whose walk-off hit won the series opener for South Forsyth — set the stage for two runners to score on a dropped flyball.
But the momentum didn't last long.
Following a two-out walk to Geno Goralski in the home half of the frame, Georgia Tech signee Kyle Henley launched a homer over the left-field fence to restore the seven-run edge.
“When they put the two-spot on us in the fifth, we needed to answer,” Corr said. “Kyle, being a senior leader, came up and delivered the big blow.”
Having avenged Friday's heartbreaking setback, Denmark will turn its attention towards putting together a perfect week, with a pair of games scheduled against West Forsyth.
To do so, the Danes, who have relied primarily on a strong core group thus far, will need to start adding to their list of players who have earned plaudits from their head coach. Corr put Boileau in that group with his performance Monday.
“We need to get a 3-0 week, because we have been up and down all year,” Corr said. “We’re just looking for some consistency. We’re looking for some guys to step up in the lineup and earn some spots.
“I was very happy with Aiden Boileau behind the plate. It was his first start at catcher tonight, and he made Biondo look great.”