Baseball News & Highlights
March 07, 2013
Eagles Rally for Fourth Straight Win
Eastern starter Ryan Chenault set the Spartans (4-3) down in order in the first on three ground balls, and Eastern took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the inning. Angelo Kelly led off with an infield single and Dillon Schwartzer walked. The next two Eastern hitters grounded out to bring Tyler Orr to the plate with two outs and runners at second and third. Orr pulled a sharp ground ball through the hole for the early two-run lead.
Chenault walked one hitter in the second, but made it through the inning without difficulty. The sophomore left-hander had all his infielders involved by the end of the second with five of the first six outs on the ground and each to a different player. The Eagles looked dangerous in the first with the first two men on, but York catcher Colbe Herr made a big play to cut down Mark Royer at third after a pitch in the dirt bounced away.
The Spartans plated a pair of two out runs in the third. Chenault retired the first two hitters and had a third hitter, Andrew Hershey, in a 1-2 hole. The York center fielder fisted an inside fastball into right field to start the rally. A walk and a hit batsmen loaded the bases. It appeared that Chenault would get out of the inning on a ground ball to first base, but rookie first baseman Joe Grato got caught between hops. He bobbled the ball and the timing on the toss to Chenault went awry. Two runs scored.
York scored five runs on three hits in the fourth and looked poised to run away with the game. Chenault struck out two hitters, but he had given up a run and left the bases loaded for Stiegler. In making his first relief appearance since becoming a starter, Stiegler hit the first York hitter he saw and allowed all three inherited runners to score before striking out the tenth York hitter of the inning to end the debacle.
After the Eagles went quietly in the bottom of the fourth, Stiegler settled into a rhythm and worked an efficient fifth.
The bottom half of the inning looked promising when Dillon Schwartzer singled to left, but Greg DeSarro's sharp ground ball toward the middle of the diamond turned into a tailor-made double-play. DeSarro finished with his third straight three-hit game. He finished the trip 13-for-25 with four RBIs. Grato then singled through the middle and Orr and Devon Ziegenfuss walked to load the bases. Mark Royer fell behind in the count, but managed to roll a single into right field to plate a pair. Ziegenfuss scored on a wild pitch to pull the Eagles to within a pair at 7-5.
Stiegler pitched a perfect sixth. York put a runner on in the seventh, but DeSarro delivered a perfect strike to second to throw out a would-be base stealer to end the inning.
Orr led off the the bottom of the seventh with a double to deep right center. The junior center fielder reached base four times in five plate appearances on the morning. After Orr advanced to third on a wild pitch. Ziegenfuss pulled a ground ball right past him for an RBI double.
Royer grounded out to second to advance Ziegenfuss to third and Eric Rossi pulled a single to right to tie the game at 7-7.
Two York batters in the eighth reached on errors. The lead-off hitter reached as Stiegler misplayed Grato's toss at the bag. After a strikeout, Stiegler induced what looked to be a chance for a double-play, but the normally sure-handed Schwartzer appeared to start the turn before securing the ball. Steigler struck out the York clean up hitter to get the second out of the inning.
York third baseman Justin Cohen hit a towering fly ball that carried all the way to the fence. Ziegenfuss hit the wall as he made the grab, and he held the ball to end the inning.
Schwartzer and DeSarro each singled to start the ninth for the Eagles, and Grato moved Schwartzer to third with a sacrifice bunt. Orr then drew his second walk of the game to load the bases for Ziegenfuss. The senior right fielder took a ball off the upper arm for a game-winning RBI and another bruise. York turned a double-play to keep the game at 8-7 going to the top of the ninth.
In addition to bringing on Anthony Messina to close the game, Head Coach Jed Morris made a pair of defensive replacements. The first of those paid immediate dividends as CJ Appenzeller got a great jump on a sinking line drive to right. He made a sliding catch to keep the bases empty. Messina struck out the second batter of the inning and the final York hitter rolled a ground ball to Ryan McMenamin, who had also just entered the game, at second.
Messina picks up his second save in as many chances.
"It was a good team win," Morris said after the game, "Guys came in and did what we asked them to do. We still have work to do, but this was a good way to finish the trip."
The Eagles will travel North and be off until at least Tuesday. The Eagles (4-3) have home games scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. The Friday game opens the first league series of the year.Box Score
Updated: Thursday, 07 March 2013