(July 7th, 2015) – WEST UNITY: While claiming the advantage early in the contest, Hilltop’s lead evaporated by the top half of the fifth inning, with Stryker ceasing control. The Cadets still had enough firepower for one last assault, however, and that proved to be enough to secure a postseason victory on their home field.
Hilltop defeated Stryker in a tough battle by a 7-5 margin.
After holding the Panthers without a run to open the game, the boys of West Unity took to the batter’s box with great fervor, knocking in 3 runs to put themselves in front early. Another run added in the bottom of the second gave Hilltop a 4-0 lead going into the third inning.
Stryker mounted a response, scoring a pair of runs in the third, and 1 more in the fourth. The Panther defense refused to allow the Cadets to score a run during this span, allowing the visitors from Stryker to take over the advantage in the top of the fifth, thanks to a 2 run effort. Suddenly finding themselves with a 5-4 advantage, the Panther boys had completed the comeback.
There were still 2 innings left to play, though.
In the bottom of the fifth, the West Unity squad countered with 3 runs of their own, laying claim to a 7-5 advantage. Neither side produced another run for the rest of the game, allowing the Cadets to assume the win.
Ryan Brooker enjoyed a strong day from the batter’s box, going 2 for 3 on the evening. Hitting for a pair of singles, the junior-to-be drove in an RBI as well. Classmate Quinn Smith also went 2 for 3, contributing a single and a double to the Cadet cause. The rising junior also earned an RBI.
For the Panthers, Brody Shock led the way with a 2 for 3 effort at the plate. Collecting 2 singles on the evening, the rising junior was able to drive in an RBI. Another junior-to-be, Cameron Frey, made the most out of 2 of his 4 appearances at the plate, also hitting for a pair of singles and an RBI.
The trio of Kohl Collins, Nic Schieber, and Quinn Smith handled things at the mound for Hilltop, with Schieber receiving credit for the win. The former two pitchers’ stat lines were quite similar, as both Collins and Schieber allowed 1 run off of 2 hits, while striking out 2 Panther batters and walking 1 more. Smith stepped in for the seventh inning to earn the save.
Shock lasted all six innings for Stryker, taking the loss for his team. Giving up 6 runs from 7 hits, he accumulated 8 strikeouts and 3 walks in the defeat.