Pilot Grove staves off rally by New Franklin for 14-8 victory
The Pilot Grove Tigers baseball team didn’t bat an eye after the New Franklin Bulldogs rallied from a 6-2 deficit to tie the game at 6-all Tuesday night in CAC action at New Franklin.
While leading for pretty much the entire ball game, the Tigers took New Franklin’s surge in the bottom half of the fifth as a way to rattle their own bats in the final two innings. Of course nobody thought Pilot Grove would explode for eight runs in the top half of the sixth to go up 14-6. As it turned out, the Tigers had plenty of runs to knock off their conference opponent 14-8.
While improving to 9-2 on the season, Pilot Grove coach Joe Vossler said as a group the players put together good at bats throughout the game, even though they were seeing a different pitcher each at bat. “We ran the bases very well, which put us in some easy run-scoring opportunities,” Vossler said. “We knew a four-run lead could evaporate real quick around their bats, and they eventually capitalized, but we responded with a big rally in the sixth innings. Every spot in our lineup delivered at least one hit, and Luke Kollmeyer was very consistent on the mound, getting us through five innings.
Pilot Grove never trailed in the game against New Franklin and led 3-2 after one, 5-2 after two and 6-2 after four. However, in the bottom half of the fifth, the Bulldogs rallied with four runs to tie the game at 6-6. But even that was short-lived as Pilot Grove answered with an eight-run sixth inning to extend the lead to 14-6. The Bulldogs added two more runs in its half of the inning but that was it as the Tigers held on for the victory in the seventh.
New Franklin coach Erich Gerding said his team just didn’t throw enough quality strikes. “This is the second of three games in a row for us, so we had to use almost everybody,” Gerding said. “I liked how we fought back and tied it, but we just walked too many guys and pitched behind in too many counts.”
Dade Christy picked up the win on the mound in relief for Pilot Grove, while Jake Marshall took the loss for New Franklin, who dropped to 5-3. Luke Kollmeyer started the game and pitched the first-five innings, giving up six runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out two. Christy then came in and pitched one inning in relief and allowed two runs on two hits and one walk while striking out one batter. Then, to finish the game, Bo Vinson pitched one inning and struck out one.
For New Franklin, Marshall pitched 2 1/3 innings and gave up seven runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out two batters.
The Bulldogs used a total of six pitchers in the game against Pilot Grove.
Pilot Grove also out-hit New Franklin 16-9, with Kollmeyer going 3-for-5 with two singles, one double and two RBIs. Vinson also had three hits with three singles and one RBI, while Dylan Schupp added two doubles and four RBIs, Christy with one single, one double and three RBIs, Dalton Reuter two singles, Hayden Krumm one double and one RBI, and Hank Zeller, Levi Jeffries and Hayden Sleeper each with one single and one RBI.
For New Franklin, Tanner Bishop went 2-for-4 with a single, double and two RBIs. Jake Marshall was 2-for-3 with a single and a double, while Tysen Dowell added two singles and three RBIs, Connor Wilmsmeyer with one triple and one RBI, Clayton Wilmsmeyer with one double and one RBI, and Keaton Eads with one single and one RBI.