There was a time when John Visser would have admitted readily that patience was not one of his virtues.
Chattanooga Christian's veteran athletic director and baseball coach has mellowed. And he would be among the first to admit that having a high-caliber pitcher makes it so much easier to sit back and see what unfolds.
That pitcher Thursday was Samuel Davenport, who slipped into cruise control early and finished the Chargers' five-inning, 10-0 victory over visiting Signal Mountain with an 11-strikeout two-hitter.
"He's the best we've seen, especially as far as just getting out there and pitching," Eagles coach Bumper Reese said. "But beyond throwing, the kid is a competitor, the type you can play anywhere."
Davenport struck out the side in the first, fourth and fifth innings. He faced two batters over the minimum, thanks in part to a throw-out by catcher Chase Caldwell in the third inning. Davenport opened the final inning with consecutive strikeouts before giving up his first walk but then closed out the game with a five-pitch strikeout.
"I guess I expected more contact hitting from them," Davenport said. "They weren't catching up with the fastball early, so we went to the curve later to save the arm."
Davenport and Caldwell capped the Chargers' eight-run fourth inning that broke a scoreless tie. After the pitcher tripled in a run, the catcher belted a two-run homer to left-center field.
"We miss a couple of fly balls, make an error and it's over that quickly," Reese said.
After the Eagles surrendered a one-out walk, the swing-and-miss parade was on - the Chargers swinging and the Eagles missing. Corey Day's fly, which was played into a double, brought home the first run, and he scored on a botched fielder's choice and subsequent play at the plate. Garrett Woody singled, Jonah Paul walked and leadoff man Lance Carter followed with a two-run single. Davenport then benefited from another misplayed fly, and Caldwell cleared the fence.
The Chargers added the game-shortening clinching runs in the fifth on a walk, a wild pitch, an error and a Paul single.