TAMPA — Hillsborough High’s Chris Figueredo mitted a grounder back to the mound with a pop before sending it to first baseman Tim Elko to seal the Terriers’ 6-5 nine-inning win over Chamberlain on Tuesday night.
The senior admitted after the game to being caught up in the moment as the Terriers first let a lead slip away and had to turn to their ace in extra innings and rely on aggressive base running to score the deciding run.
In the top of the ninth, Jerod Jones reached on an error when a throw pulled the Chiefs’ first baseman off the bag, moved to second on a stolen base and scored as Diamond Johnson singled with two outs. From there, Figueredo improved to 3-2 on the season by working two perfect innings of relief.
“It’s a little aggravating when that happens,” Figueredo said of losing the lead.
But he added after recording the final out: “It was great to end a game like this in that way.”
Hillsborough looked like it took control with a three-run fourth led by doubles from Elko and Figueredo and added another in the fifth on a Jesus Vega RBI single.
However, the Chiefs were far from finished and took advantage of some Terriers miscues, scoring a run in an error-filled fifth and adding three more to tie it in the sixth, keyed by RBI singles from Shayne White and Dakari Highsmith.
The inning could have been worse if not for the solid play of Vega at catcher for the Terriers.
Vega, who was 2-for-4 in the win, said he felt he had to step up, even admitting his team might have got a little complacent after taking the lead.
“If the ball was on the ground I was going to eat it for my team,” Vega said. “I think we took them too lightly after those five runs and a team with spirit like that, it was not the time for that.”