CHAMPAIGN — Centennial had showed coach Rich Hyde plenty in its quick start to the Big 12 baseball season.
Except a last-inning rally.
That changed at the most opportune time Wednesday.
Trailing rival Champaign Central in the seventh inning, the Chargers scored four times in a 5-2 win at McKinley Field.
“Our guys showed some real poise,” Hyde said. “We hadn’t come back in the seventh inning this season and we were able to do it. That was good to see.”
The original plan was for both teams to travel to Centennial afterward to complete a game stopped by rain last week (Central was leading 1-0 in the fourth inning). But with Centennial already hosting freshman and junior varsity games, the schools decided to finish at McKinley.
Central held on for the split, 3-1, handing Centennial (4-1) its first Big 12 loss.
“It was a frustrating first game, being one strike away from a win and not shutting the door,” Central coach John Staab said. “But I told the kids in the locker room, I was proud of them for bouncing back.”
In the opener, Anthony Martin (2-0) pitched a complete game for Centennial.
“He’s only a sophomore and pitched with poise,” Hyde said. “He worked out of some jams. He just competed.”
Brice Deaville was 2 for 3 for Centennial (13-6). Scott Runyan struck out nine for Central.
In Game 2, Kam Wells had three hits and Zach Dorner finished off a two-hitter for the Maroons (11-10, 2-2). Dorner helped his cause with two-run triple in the sixth inning.