GOLDSBORO - Wayne County Jets Blue head coach Colton Chrisman didn’t hesitate when Garner loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth inning Monday evening.
“Get DJ up and throwing in the bullpen,” Chrisman said to assistant coach Blake Gipson.
Moments later, the rising junior at Charles B. Aycock trotted from the bullpen to the mound. Chrisman watched him warm up and they briefly talked strategy.
“He looked at me and said, ‘Coach, I got you,’” Chrisman said.
Yeah, no worries, coach.
DJ Madrigal caught Garner’s batter gazing at a half-curve strike that grazed the inside corner to end the inning.
A sigh of relief escaped from Chrisman.
And in a sign of support to their reliever, the Jets plated four runs in the bottom of the fifth and rode the momentum to a 7-3 victory at the Eastern Carolina Athletic Park.
Madrigal tossed 2 1/3 innings of two-strikeout scoreless relief on 43 pitches. The right-hander retired seven of the final 10 batters he faced, and coerced the Stars into a game-ending double play.
“Oh man, DJ was great,” Chrisman said. “He hadn’t had a lot of time on the mound. I asked him how he felt when he came off the mound in the sixth and he said, ‘this is my game.’”
Ben Peacock broke the 3-3 tie on an RBI sacrifice fly to center field. Eighth-grader Cameron Aycock stole home. Davis Albert stole third, which induced an errant throw that sailed into left field and allowed him to score.
Hunter Coulombe notched the final run when teammate Mason Moffett, the younger sibling of N.C. State signee Garrett Moffett, reached on an infield error.
“We saw some things in their defense that gave us a chance to make things happen and we had some speed in our lineup, so we took more chances than we usually do,” said Chrisman, whose team trailed 3-0 after 1 1/2 innings of action.
“We were just telling the guys to be aggressive, be aggressive, be aggressive.”
Hunter Theriac started on the bump and worked two innings. Alex Davis set up Madrigal with a no-hit performance that lasted 2 2/3 innings.
Aycock and Albert paced the offense with two hits apiece.
“We were resilient,” Chrisman said.