Late Rally Pushes Hilltop Over Stryker

(June 25th, 2015) – WEST UNITY: Hilltop was the first and last team to score in a showdown between two of the better baseball squads in Williams County on Thursday, June 25. Their guests for the evening, the Panthers of Stryker, held the advantage throughout the game’s midpoint, but couldn’t maintain the lead in its final inning.

Hilltop bested the Panthers in a close match-up 3-2.

It wasn’t until the bottom of the second that a run was registered in the contest. The hometown boys of West Unity scored to assume the first advantage of the game. It wouldn’t last, though, as Stryker retaliated with a 2 run offensive to claim control.

After scoreless fourth and fifth innings, Hilltop tacked on another run to their total during the sixth inning, tying the two teams at 2 runs apiece. With their defense holding Stryker without a run in the top half of the seventh and final inning, the Cadets needed only to score once to secure the win. They did just that, slipping past the Panthers with a 1 run victory.

Quinn Smith took home the victory from the mound for Hilltop, with just 1 inning of work required for him to do so. In that single frame, however, the rising junior refused to allow a hit or walk, let alone a run to cross home plate, striking out 2 of the 3 batters he faced. The previous 6 innings were split evenly between starter Nic Schieber and reliever Kohl Collins. The former gave up just 1 earned run from 5 hits, amassing 4 strikeouts and 2 walks. Collins, on the other hand, didn’t give up a hit or a run, striking out 9 Panthers and walking only 2 more.

Taking the loss for Stryker was Chad Ruffer, who lasted the entire 6.1 innings on the mound. In a valiant effort, the senior-to-be struck out 7 batters, and giving up no walks. He also allowed 2 earned runs off of 8 hits in the loss.

Schieber put in some work from the batter’s box on Hilltop’s behalf as well. With a 1 for 2 day, he drove in a run with an RBI single. Teammate Ethan Dunson mimicked that feat, also going 1 for 2 with an RBI from a single. Fellow Cadet Levi Grant made the most out of 2 of his 3 appearances at the plate, hitting for a single and a double.

For Stryker, Ruffer helped his own cause at the plate with a pair of singles, going 2 for 3 against the Cadet pitching. He also drove in an RBI. Tyrel Patterson, another Panther bat, also had an RBI single as part of his 1 for 3 evening at the plate.

© 2015 – 2016, Newspaper Staff. All rights reserved.

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