Opportunity knocked for both the St. Marys and Minster ACME baseball teams on Thursday night.
St. Marys reliever Codie Deaton kept the door shut in the fifth inning and the Roughrider bats blew the game wide open in the bottom of the sixth inning.
St. Marys sent nine to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning to break open a previously tied game with five runs to deliver a St. Marys’ 9-4 win over Minster.
The Riders improved to 10-1 on the season with two regular season games remaining before the start of the sectional tournament on July 1 and St. Marys is still unbeaten at K.C. Geiger Park this June.
To get to that point, Deaton escaped from a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fifth that served as the game’s turning point.
With the game tied 4-4 in the top of the fifth, Minster’s Austin Knapke reached on an infield error and then Ryan Hoying got on after his pop up to the left side of the infield was windblown away from the Rider infielders for a single. Doug Huber then walked to load the bases with nobody out, threatening to undo the tie.
But Deaton got a groundout to Rider first baseman Jarrett Taylor, who cut down the lead runner at the plate thanks to a short-hop scoop by catcher Steven Paulus. Another grounder to St. Marys’ Tyler Roby at third base cut down the runner at home again. Deaton then got a strikeout to end the potential Minster rally.
“We put him in the situation,” St. Marys head coach Alan Huber said. “We didn’t make a couple plays we usually make. It would’ve been easy for Codie to have a mental lapse there. Instead he bore down, really propelling us into the next inning knowing we had an opportunity to win this game.”
Deaton pitched the game’s final five innings, giving up no earned runs on two hits and striking out two.
The first six Roughrider batters reached base in the bottom of the sixth. After Brad Sawmiller was hit by a pitch, Jarrett Taylor delivered the go-ahead and game-winning hit with an opposite field double that rode the stiff breeze blowing out to right field to make it 5-4.
“Jarrett’s been hitting well for us the last few games here,” Huber said. “We’ve talked all year about those right-handed hitters hitting that RC gap. There’s a lot of opportunity to run pretty far if you find that gap. The guys have done a really nice job this year of taking the ball the other way.”
Tyler Poppe and Codie Deaton both reached via a bunt single to load the bases once again and extend the threat.
Michael Huber walked with the bases loaded for an RBI to make it 7-5. Kalobb Dodson was hit by a pitch and Nick Vogel walked for an RBI to make it 8-4.
St. Marys’ final run came on a play that ended the inning. The throw from Steven Paulus’ grounder to shortstop was wild, allowing Dodson to score from third. Huber was tagged out at the plate on a throw from first baseman Doug Huber to catcher Rob Wente.
St. Marys will host New Bremen tonight at 6:30 p.m.
R H E LOB
MIN 130 000 0 — 4 7 2 7
SM 202 005 X — 9 8 2 5
WP — Deaton LP — Huber