Warriors finish baseball season in style, outlast Westbrook Christian in 10 innings

Cherokee County High School’s Parker Wilson follows through on a game-winning single to left field in the bottom of the 10th inning against Westbrook Christian on Tuesday. Photo by Shannon Fagan.

By Shannon Fagan, WEIS Sports Director

CENTRE – The 2023 baseball season didn’t turn out the way the Cherokee County Warriors would’ve liked, but one thing they can say about it is they won their final game – in dramatic fashion no less – against Class 3A, No. 4 Westbrook Christian on Tuesday.

Senior second baseman Malachi Horton led off the bottom of the 10th inning with a walk. He reached third base on a single by Daegan Scott.

After Connor Wilson grounded out to short, Luke Young reached on a fielder’s choice at short to load the bases for Parker Wilson.

Parker Wilson delivered the game-winning single to left to bring Horton home, lifting the Warriors to a thrilling 5-4 victory in their season finale.

“I was just doing it for the seniors,” said Parker Wilson, who was mobbed by his teammates as he was rounding first base following his game-winning hit. “It was their last opportunity to play a game, and I just wanted to get the last one in for them. Knowing it was my brother’s last high school baseball game, winning this game for him made me feel amazing.

“I’ve also known Malachi almost my whole life. He was definitely one of my favorite players to ever play the game with. It felt really special.”

Horton called the moment when he crossed home plate with the game-winning run something he’ll never forget.

“For us to come out and win the last game of my high school career, there’s just something special about it,” he said. “For me to be the winning run and score the last run, it’s just a big moment for me and for this team. I’m never going to forget this team. I grew up playing with these boys since I was a little kid. They’ll always have a special place in my heart, and so will this field.”

First-year Warrior head coach Bret Henderson said it was an awesome way for the Warriors (12-14) to end their season.

“They could’ve hung it up, been worried about their senior trip, graduation, prom and all that, but there was never a complaint,” Henderson said. “I can’t be more excited for them. They won the last four of five (games). They stayed hungry. They knew they weren’t going to make the playoffs, but these kids are going to fight. It doesn’t matter what it is.

“These seniors have done an amazing job for us all year long. That was a huge at-bat for Malachi. He’s been up and down, but he’s always solid and always ready to go. He got on. The bases got loaded and Parker Wilson came through with a big knock for us. That’s good for our whole program. What a great way to end it. It was awesome.”

Parker Wilson, Young and Carson Tittle each had a pair of hits and a RBI to lead the Warrior offense. One of Tittle’s hits was a double. He also scored a run.

Horton had a hit, walked twice and scored a pair of runs. Connor Wilson posted a hit and drove in a run. Beck McKinney and Cooper Rodgers both had a hit and a walk. Rodgers also scored twice. Garrett McRay finished with a hit and a RBI.

McRay also earned the win in relief of Scott, who tossed 6 1/3 innings and gave up just one earned run on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

McRay worked two innings of three-hit ball with a walk.

“These guys deserve more after all they’ve been through and what they’ve done, but not many people can say they won their last game in walk-off fashion with free baseball,” Henderson said. “It was great.”

Cherokee County High School’s Malachi Horton sprints to third base on a hit by Daegan Scott in the bottom of the 10th inning against Westbrook Christian on Tuesday. Horton later scored the game-winning run. Photo by Shannon Fagan.,
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print