KAYSVILLE — One of the beauties of baseball is that, from one day to the next, you never really quite know what to expect.
Pitchers can get in an unhittable groove. Hitters can run hot or cold. Defenses can win or lose a game. The sport's unpredictable nature is one of many things that makes it maddeningly popular.
So, one day after bludgeoning Fremont by a score of 13-0, Davis High found itself locked in a scoreless deadlock with the Silver Wolves through the first 4 1/2 innings of Thursday's rematch.
And that's when two staples of the game — great pitching and timely hitting — came through for the Darts.
The timely hitting was provided by first baseman Jackson Peacock, who sliced a bases-loaded double to right field that brought home the game's first — and, as it turned out, last — three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
"That's just him; he's Mr. Clutch," Davis pitcher Zac Fuller said of Peacock. "He's an animal."
That's all the support Fuller needed, as the senior right-hander struck out the side in the sixth inning, then pitched his way out of a two-on, one-out jam in the seventh to preserve the league leaders' 3-0 Region 1 victory.
"He did a great job," Davis head coach Dave Leo, who made a quick trip to the mound when Fremont threatened in the seventh, said of Fuller. "... I'll tell you what, he would've shot me if I'd have took him out.
"I went out there and I said, 'The only thing I've got to say is, I don't care about these guys on base. I don't care; just get the next two batters out.' He was tough today.
"This is a complete turnaround from yesterday," Leo said of Wednesday's lopsided 13-0 win over the Wolves. "... This game scares me, and I'll tell you why: Yesterday doesn't matter. You've got to do it all over again today. ... I've got two jobs — to order the bus and to worry."
Gage Cook started the Darts' decisive fifth-inning rally with a leadoff single. Fuller and Bronson Larsen then drew back-to-back walks off Fremont southpaw Taylor Kranendonk, who had done a great job of keeping the Davis hitters off balance up to that point.
That loaded the bases, and Peacock made the Silver Wolves pay by driving a ball deep into the right-field corner, plating all three runners. Peacock got thrown out at third trying the stretch the hit into a triple, but the damage was already done for Davis (17-2, 6-0 Region 1).
"That kid has never hit a ball down the right-field line in his life. He never has," Leo said of Peacock, who did not play baseball last year as a junior after tearing a ligament in his wrist while playing football as a sophomore, an injury which eventually required two surgeries. "He'll drive it to center. He'll drive it to the power alleys. He'll go to left-center. ... He has just been on fire all year.
"He's been great all year long for us, and he missed a year. He just lived in the (batting) cage all year long and he got it back. He's a great defensive first baseman, and he's pitched for me this year, too."
Peacock was just glad to contribute, especially after the Darts wasted two-out doubles in each of the first three innings.
"We needed to get our first couple on and then be able to make some plays and get some people in," Peacock said. "Coach Leo's a nice guy, but I have hit a couple balls to right field.
"If it goes, it goes. You go where the baseball takes you and hope it works out. It was just a little outside pitch and I just kinda swung right through it and it went pretty well, so I'm happy about it. (The right fielder) was shading over toward left, and everybody was expecting me to pull the baseball. It came at the right time and it worked out.
"I do what I can and I love the game," Peacock said. "We're playing really well as a team. When it comes down to crunch time, we're able to pull it off, so we've just got to take it one game at a time and keep moving forward."
Fuller allowed just two hits — one in the first and one in the seventh — and struck out 11 batters while walking only three in the complete-game victory.
After Fremont's Trevor Bennett led off the seventh with a single, advanced to second on a groundout and moved to third on an error, Fuller got the next batter to ground out back to the mound, leaving runners at second and third with two outs. He shut the door by striking out the Wolves' final batter.Comment on this story
"I just knew I had to buckle down," Fuller said. "They were all jumping on first-pitch strikes, and I knew with the defense behind me if I just kept throwing 'em, they would pound it into the ground or we'd get a ground ball somewhere. I just had to buckle down at the end."
Fuller laughed about Leo's last-inning visit to the mound.
"The second I saw him coming out of the dugout, I gave him the 'turnaround-and-go-back' sign, but he didn't listen," Fuller said of the Darts' fun-loving coach. "He came out and went, 'Throw strikes — I'm going back (to the dugout).'"