Monday, April 24, 2017 11:20 pm
Northrop 6, Snider 5
Northrop baseball tops Snider in wild affair
JOSH PATTERSON | For The Journal Gazette
Fans at Parkview Field on Monday night witnessed two outstanding pitching performances.
What they saw in the ninth inning left them breathless.
Snider and Northrop battled through eight scoreless innings before both offenses exploded in the ninth. Both teams batted around with the Bruins claiming a 6-5 SAC victory on a wild pitch with the bases loaded.
“All craziness started,” Northrop coach Matt Brumbaugh said about the ninth inning. “They put the ball in play and got some hits, and in our bottom half we just found a way to battle and just keep extending to another batter. We finally got a little looser than we’ve been the past couple days.”
That frenetic ninth bore no resemblance to the first eight innings, as Snider’s Trevor Armstrong matched Northrop starter and University of Cincinnati recruit Garrett Schoenle. Armstrong gave up just three walks and one hit – a Schoenle fourth inning double – through those eight innings.
The Bruins (11-3, 4-2) looked to have two runners in scoring position in the fourth, as Kyler Doan reached on an error before Schoenle’s double. But Doan overslid third base and was tagged out, and Armstrong retired the next two batters to escape trouble.
The Snider hurler gave up six hits through 8 1/3 innings, striking out five while walking three.
“I was just hitting my spots,” Armstrong said. “My defense was making every play there was. They’re what gave me that one hit through eight innings.”
A bout of wildness from Schoenle led to Snider’s lone threat before the ninth. With two outs in the fifth, eight straight balls yielded walks to Matthew Eastman and Colton Hinton before Reese Kuhns flied out to center.
Neither pitcher showed outward signs of tiring through eight innings. Then came the ninth.
With one out, Snider (4-6, 3-3) strung together a single, double and intentional walk before Michael Brewer’s single to left plated Chandler Everson and ended Schoenle’s night.
Northrop reliever Ben Yoss’ first pitch to Eastman was wild, allowing Armstrong to score, and Eastman would then deliver a two-run single to make the score 4-0. One out later, Kuhns’ single to left scored Eastman, and Snider appeared in control with a five-run lead.
“It was just one of those games, they found the holes and made the plays at the end,” Snider coach Marc Skelton said. “We just have to keep chugging away and keep the big picture in mind.”
Much like Schoenle, Armstrong finally showed vulnerability in the ninth. Zach Piatt led off with a single, and after a flyout, four consecutive Bruin batters hit singles to cut the lead to 5-3. Armstrong was then lifted for Jacob Kaufman after hitting Ben Keating with a pitch.
Kaufman couldn’t stop the bleeding, giving up a single, intentional walk and balk to tie the game at 5. With Piatt batting once again in the ninth, he looked to lay down a suicide squeeze with the bases loaded.
But the pitch sailed too high for Kuhns, the Snider catcher, to haul in, and Keating scampered home for the winning run.
“We were able to just piece things together at the end, and it worked out in our favor,” Schoenle said. “Sometimes there’s a bit of doubt, but to be able to chip away, it was a big emotional game for us.”