East Rowan needs extras to beat South Central in 3A baseball championship series opener

East Rowan needs extras to beat South Central in 3A baseball championship series opener

It took extra innings, but East Rowan got the leg up on South Central in game one of the 3A championship series.

The Mustangs (33-2) got a walk-off walk in the ninth inning to get a 3-2 win over the Falcons (24-5). Game two of the three-game series will be Saturday at 11 AM.

Ultimately, East Rowan Harrison Ailshie had the two shining moments in the later part of the contest.

The two teams headed into the seventh inning tied at seven. South Central pitcher Christian Chance and his defense set the scene by getting the first East Rowan batters out in the bottom of the sixth.

Mustangs pitcher Ailshie entered the top of the seventh with more than 70 pitches on his arm, but brought consistency to the bump.

His glove helped get leadoff batter, Tyce Thompson out at first. The next batter, Marcus Byrd, got a hit, the eighth base hit of the day, to get on first with one out. Isaiah James was thrown out at first, setting the stage for junior Rahkeem Williams. Aishie and East Rowan went into their bag of tricks for the final out.

Aishie pretended to throw towards second base and Byrd took off. Unfortunately for Byrd, Aishie never released the ball, pulling the ole hidden ball trick, tagging Byrd on the running path. That set the stage for the Mustangs to end it with a walkoff.

Sam Blackwelder led off the seventh for the Falcons, drawing a walk. Logan Dyer, who had one hit in the afternoon, also drew a walk, putting runners at first and second with no outs.

Braden Shive attempted a bunt on the first pitch that went into foul territory and just over the head of Mason Hobbs, the South Central third baseman.

With two strikes on the board, Shive took a swing on the next pitch and struckout. Cobb Hightower reached first on a fielder’s choice, putting runners on first and second with two outs.

Ailshie struck out, sending the game into extra innings.

Williams was back at the plate to start the eighth, quickly drawing two balls from Ailshie. Williams eventually popped out to right field for the first out. Brody Stallings picked up a base hit to reach first, his second hit of the day. It was all for nothing, though, as the Mustangs’ defense got a double play off the next batter, Hobbs, to end the inning.

East Rowan caught a break on the next play. Thanks to an error in the field, Nate Hayworth was able to get on the bag. However, it didn’t matter. South Central would get the outs needed to head to the ninth. The Mustangs switched pitchers, putting Hobbs on the mound.

Hobbs didn’t allow a runner on base in the top of the ninth. Shive’s bat gave the Mustangs life, getting a double to move Logan Dyer to third. For South Central, that meant Chance was done for the day, reaching his pitch limit. Chance went to the dugout giving up just four hits to East Rowan.

Freshman Justin Blow took over in a tough spot, with two runners on and one out and facing Hightower. South Central initially walked Hightower, loading the bases, setting the stage for Ailshie.

Blow threw three straight balls to Ailshie, putting East Rowan in perfect position to steal game one. He swung at the next pitch, which went foul, but the next pitch was a ball, sealing the victory.

In the bottom of the second East Rowan gets on the board with consecutive RBIs from Krystopher Hernandez and Mason Phelps 2-0.

South Central started the fourth with three consecutive hits to start the inning and a double by Brody Brannan cut the East Rowan lead to one (2-1).

South Central scored two runs on four hits in the top of the fourth to tie the contest at two. Brannan scored a run on a double and an unearned run made it 2-2.

Game three, if needed, will also be on Saturday, with a 5 PM start time.

Source: highschoolot.com