Rams stay patient, execute in the 7th Inning in non-conference win over Blue Jackets

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Published on
April 29, 2024

New Riegel vs. Upper Sandusky @ Ram's Field (Upper Sandusky, Ohio)

First Pitch: 10:57 am

Upper Sandusky - 10

New Riegel - 9

With two of the top teams in the area battling it out against each other, this game went about as expected for what the matchup looked like on paper. New Riegel jumped out to an early five-run lead and kept the lead to about three-four runs the rest of the game. Each inning had a battle of its own with both teams scoring on each other back and forth. Heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, New Riegel held a three run lead and that's when things started getting interesting.

Things started hot for the Blue Jackets in the first inning which started with Shane Jones as the leadoff hitter. He hit a hard ground ball to shortstop Kaden Holman and was able to run out an infield single after Holman bobbled the ball off his glove. Mathew Flores was up next and got himself a single to left field to put himself at first and Jones at second with no outs. Batting third for the Blue Jackets and the hottest hitter right now in the lineup, Brody Hohman delivered big with a hard line drive to center field and it getting down for a base hit and driving in Jones to jump out to a quick 1-0 lead.

Upper Sandusky didn't take long to respond as they went right to work in the bottom of the first inning. Ethan Hill hit a hard grounder right back to pitcher Reece Goshe and with a little mishandle from Goshe, Hill was able to run it out for an infield single. A few pitches later, Hill stole second base. Up next was Kaden Holman and he was able to draw a walk to get on board with Hill. Blaise Gallant was up next and the first pitch he saw he ripped it right to Asher Schalk at second base and reached on an error after a mishandle from Schalk while Hill scored during the play and tied things up at one a piece. Batting fifth was Gavin Frey and with one out Holman and Gallant stole second and third and then during Justin Heilman's at bat (batting 6th), Goshe threw a wild pitch which led to Holman stealing home and scoring to now take a 2-1 lead while Gallant advanced over to third. At the end of the first inning, the Rams were leading 2-1.

New Riegel came back in the second inning and put on a clinic up at the plate. They scored five runs on three hits and four walks to take over the lead and then extended it to four with a 6-2 advantage. Reece Goshe led things off with a single to left field, Carter Clouse drew a walk, Alec Hohman reached on a Fielder's Choice (Goshe out at third (1)), Jones draws a walk to load the bases, Flores flies a long double to right field driving in Clouse and A.

Hohman (3-2 NR), Brody Hohman draws a walk to load the bases up again, Carson Pahl flies out to the third baseman Jacob Halter for the second out of the inning, Jones scores on a balk (4-2 NR) from pitcher Josh Heilman and Flores to third, Asher Schalk lines a double to left center field to drive in Flores and B. Hohman to take a 6-2 advantage.

Gosche had control over the Rams lineup in the second inning with two strikeouts and a groundout. Jacob Halter did get on base with a double right down the left field line and stole third shortly after but was left stranded there.

In the beginning of the third inning, Justin Heilman came in to pitch for the Rams. New Riegel's Alec Hohman hit a single to left center field, Jones hit his second single of the game to right field. With A. Hohman on second and Jones on first, Brody Hohman ripped a hard single to center field after the center fielder Ethan Hill couldn't follow through with a diving catch, and that drove Alec Hohman in (7-2 NR) and Jones to second base. Jones and B. Hohman stole second and third but were left stranded going into the bottom of the inning. As for the Rams, Goshe had the better of them and had four batters come up to plate and left one on base (Evan Hinesman walk).

New Riegel wasn't able to produce any runs in the fourth inning but did leave two on base, Goshe was left on third after a hit by pitch and Clouse reached on an error from Kaden Holman. Upper got some things rolling in the bottom of the inning by scoring three runs to cut the lead down to two runs. Gabe Pugh got the rock going into the fourth inning for the Blue Jackets and faced seven batters. Justin Heilman started things off with a double to right field, Kaleb Francis responded quickly by hitting a single to right center field, Halter was up next and hit a sacrifice bunt down the first base line driving in Justin Heilman (7-3 NR) and advancing Francis to second. Hill gets on by drawing a walk and then advances to second from a throwing error by Schalk when Francis stole third.

Holman comes up and hits a hard single to left field to drive in Francis and Hill to make the score 7-5, but still in New Riegel's favor. The fifth inning was the last inning New Riegel put runs on the board. Jones starts it by reaching on base after swinging at a dropped third strike, Flores on the next pitch gets drilled on the left arm to put him on first and Jones at second. Brody Hohman drives a liner to left center field and brings Jones home (8-5 NR) with Flores advancing to second. Carson Pahl rips a ball right up the middle to create a bases loaded situation. Brighton Coffin draws a walk and Flores comes in to score and make it a

9-5 game. In the bottom of the inning, Upper scored one run off a Hinesman single to right field then later advancing to second on a groundout to first base, Francis then drove Hinesman in off a single to short right center field and got left on base at third to end the inning. The score was 9-6 New Riegel at the end of six.

Going into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Rams were down 9-6 and were looking to play spoiler to what was a fantastic showing from New Riegel almost all game and get a tough non-league victory. Gabe Pugh was still in the game pitching for New Riegel with three innings under his belt at this point. After allowing a leadoff single to Evan Hinesman, Pugh was relieved by Brody Hohman.

It didn't get much easier from here for the Blue Jackets.

Hohman walked his first two batters he faced (Gavin Frey and Justin Heilman), Francis was up next and hit a long double to right center field to drive in Hinesman and Frey to cut the deficit to one at 9-8. No outs and runners at second and third, Halter comes up to bat and draws a walk to load the bases again. Next batter Josh Heilman gets hit by a pitch which allows Justin Heilman to score the game tying run at nine a piece. Back to the top of the line up, Hill hits a towering fly ball in the infield and gets called out on the infield fly rule for the first out of the inning. Kaden Holman was now up to bat and for how much of a threat he poses to his opponents, Hohman wasn't going to give Holman an easy pitch to hit. First ball Holman sees, he swings right through it for strike one.

The very next pitch Kaden sees, it's up high and in and hits him in the upper back and that allows Kaleb Francis to come home and score the winning run and successfully make the comeback and score four runs in the seventh to win the game 10-9.

"I think after last night, we were lacking discipline and it carried into the beginning of the game today. They battled the whole game, runs here and runs there. Our kids had some hard hits today but just right to the defenders. They were the same way and today was just two teams trying to get through a game," said Upper's Head Coach Jerry Smalley after the game.

"We told them that you're gonna have to be patient. Just go out and be patient like you can be. Throughout the year, we have made pitchers throw a lot of pitches and make coaches pull their pitchers out. We've been patient at the plate and we weren't in the first 4-5 innings but then they finally were able to start turning it around. I told them that this umpire liked the outside corner, they wouldn't believe me at first but then once they became more patient, it was starting to show the effects of being more patient at the plate. With bases loaded there and no outs, I was pretty adamant about getting two runs then he hit Kaden there at the end to drive the winning run in. It was a different game and hard fought. We told them after the game, way to have the mindset for those last two innings to get through that."

New Riegel was coming into this game 4-0 on the week, outscoring opponents 32-7 and defeating #2 Tiffin Calvert

(14-2 (10-1)) 2-1 just days prior.

"I would say today was good and bad. We hit the ball pretty well today, then we left too many guys on base. If we had a few more hits then we could've had a different outcome," Coach Derrick Uitto of New Riegel said.

"That's the way these games go and these non-league games go and when you have four in a week, that's no excuse but we all have to be gassed after a week like we just had. Towards the end of the game there, we were just running out of gas and getting tired." Coach Uitto after their performance today.

Freshman Gabe Pugh had a test today on the mound against a talented Rams team and he stayed tall and was tough and physical. He faced 17 batters in the 3.0 innings he pitched, threw 69 pitches, struck out two, allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits and one walk.

"I thought Gabe threw the ball extremely well today.

Proud of him today and the effort he put out there on the mound especially with him being a freshman," said Coach Vitto.

"It was exciting and we did some good things but there is another thing that bites you, when you play a lot of games and when guys pitch with little time between games it can be different than at practice," Coach Uitto on his pitching.

As for the Rams, Evan Hinesman and Kaleb Francis produced big up at the plate. Hinesman went 2-3 with two runs scored and Francis went 3-4 driving in three runs and scoring two himself.

"They actually struggled the other night but they have been good hitters all season. Kaleb is like what coaches refer to as a wild card, the dude just likes playing. Today he stayed within himself and had the game he performed.

Evan can really drive the ball well when he stands tall and puts good contact to the ball. I was proud of them both today," said Coach Smalley.

New Riegel against Upper up at the plate went 12-34 with nine runs scored on twelve hits, four walks and two hit by pitches. The Rams did hold the Blue Jackets to eleven runners on base.

"Our pitchers, I don't know what it is but I think they try to be too perfect with no runners on base. Once they have base runners then they do pretty good on buckling down and try to get a ground ball or pop fly to get outs. Proud of Justin today for fighting in his four innings of work, he's only pitched three innings this year so it was nice to have him out there and he did a great job to keep us in there.

Josh is coming back for the first time on two days of rest, we didn't think he really had his stuff so thankfully Justin came in and got us a few innings then we brought Jake in and he closed it out for us," Smalley on his team's pitching performance.

New Riegel (11-5 (10-0) will be back in action Monday at home in a league matchup against Danbury (4-11 (1-10)).

Upper Sandusky (11-4 (8-2)) will travel to Perrysburg (12-5, (5-4)) Monday for a D1 vs. D2 matchup.

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