Toler key in relief on the mound in 9-8 victory

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Washington's Devon VanCura knocks the ball away from Havelock's Ryan Lewis (2) as he slides safely into second base during the first inning on Tuesday at Havelock High.

Ken Buday/Havelock News
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at 11:53 PM.

Leading 6-1 in the fifth inning, the Havelock baseball team seemed to have everything going its way — until they couldn’t get an out.

Enter relief pitcher Chris Toler, who silenced Washington for 2 2/3 innings and was backed with three late runs as the Rams rallied to beat the Pam Pack 9-8 in a Coastal 3A Conference contest Tuesday night at Havelock High.

“He’s good in relief, and he’s had some good starts,” Havelock coach Charlie Smith said of Toler. “He throws pretty hard, and when he can get comfortable after two or three batters, he usually has a pretty good breaking ball.”

Washington scored six runs — three coming on an error — in the fifth to lead 7-6 and had a runner on board when Toler left his catcher’s spot for the mound. He got a popout, and then watched as catcher Travis Sabdo threw out a runner trying to steal second, ending the inning.

Havelock starter Aron Rossi pitched four effective innings but couldn’t get out of the fifth.

“I wanted Aron to get us off to a good start, and he did, but he just ran out of gas,” Smith said. “We complicated things by going brain dead on defense. On a ball that was hit 10 feet, we let three runs score.”

The Rams committed two more errors in the sixth, giving the Pam Pack another run, but capitalized on three Washington errors to score two runs in the bottom half, tying the game at 8-8.

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