By Anthony Mitchell
The Daily Item
DANVILLE -- Brady Chappell spent three innings on the mound earlier in the game so he had an idea of when to take advantage of a ball up in the zone.
The Milton senior sent a curveball from Danville's Zach Brent over the left-field fence to give Milton the lead in Tuesday's back-and-forth game.
Danville tried to rally late but Jeff Levitan closed the door, as Milton beat Danville, 16-12, in a HAC-I barnburner.
On a day where seemingly no lead was safe, Chappell gave the Black Panthers a one-run lead, 10-9, with his three-run homer in the sixth inning.
"(Brent) definitely didn't want a curveball up, that's for sure," Chappell said. "I just closed my eyes and swung."
Chappell presumably kept his eyes open during his other at-bats but he had the ability to reach safely on a hit regardless of whether he saw the ball the whole way or not. Chappell filled the stat sheet for Milton, with a double and five RBIs in addition to his home run.
"Hopefully, for the sake of our future, Brady's starting to turn it around a little bit," Milton coach Chace Phillips said.
The home run from their catcher gave the Black Panthers a blueprint for the rest of the inning as the next five batters after Chappell reached safely, whether by a hit, a walk or being hit by a pitch.
The Black Panthers batted around in the frame before an out could be recorded, scoring eight runs on five hits.
"I'm just really proud of my guys," Phillips said. "We persevered. (A) fantastic team win."
What had started as a 9-6 Danville lead quickly turned into a 14-9 deficit for the Ironmen.
"We battled to get to where we were and have the score tied up and then to get those three runs on top," Danville coach Devin Knorr said. "We thought we were gonna be in a spot where we were gonna get them out."