Boys Baseball Falls To Cass In Sectional

Posted on May 24, 2018 in Baseball, Spring Sports

BY JACOB RUDE – sports@wabashplaindealer.com
WABASH – Through the first six innings on Wednesday, Cass junior Reece Rodabaugh was nearly untouchable.

The one inning he wasn’t, Oak Hill nearly took advantage.

In the sectional opener at Wabash’s Chris Rood Field, the Eagle baseball team battled Class 2A No. 5 Cass, though much of the contest was hardly a battle.

Rodabaugh allowed just three hits through the first six innings while striking out 10 in that span. But trailing 4-0 entering the bottom of the seventh, the Eagles mounted its best, and only, run-scoring rally of the night, plating three runs before stranding the tying run at third to fall 4-3 on the night.

“I just told the kids that we had to come out fighting,” Oak Hill head coach Shane Edwards said. “You’re down 4-0 in the seventh and really haven’t got a whole lot going. Start putting the ball in play and put pressure on them.

“Cass is a very good team coached by a Hall of Famer in Coach Marschand. Nothing but respect for them but I’m wearing this one a little bit. We prepared a lot yesterday for (Reece) Rodabaugh and maybe I overprepared and got in our own kids’ heads.”

Garrod Creech starting the inning by reaching on a throwing error before a walk to Cal Mann and a single from Ryan Younce loaded the bases.

After Will Haley struck out, Matt Hershberger would single under the glove of third, giving Oak Hill its first two runs of the game. Another error, this from Jaret Humphrey at short, loaded the bases once more before an RBI groundout from Landry Ozmun plated the third run.

Spencer Ballinger would step to the plate, the Eagles’ leader in RBIs on the season, with the tying run on third and the winning run on second.

Ballinger, though, would not be able to complete the comeback, seeing just four pitches in his strikeout to end the contest.

“We had to find a way to get the first guy on then find a way to get the second guy on,” Edwards said of the seventh inning. “Then you never know what happens after that. Once we got the tying run on-deck, you have a shot. We ended up with the tying run (at third) with our guy Spencer at the plate and it just didn’t happen that time.”

Prior to that frame, Rodabaugh was dominant, allowing just three baserunners through the first six frames. The junior started the game by striking out the side, setting the tone for the night.

Oak Hill’s only offensive threat came in the second when Creech and Mann reached base with a single and a walk, respectively. Roudabaugh would bounce back with a strikeout and a flyout to center to end the frame.

Rodabaugh finished the night allowing five hits and three runs with two walks and 12 strikeouts.

His counterpart on the night, Caleb Middlesworth, struggled at times on the night, giving up a single and a run-scoring double three batters into the night. Middlesworth would settle down, though, retiring the next eight batters in order into the fourth inning.

After stranding a runner on second in the fourth, Middlesworth would give up a pair of singles while a pair of errors allowed two runs to score, lengthening Cass’ lead to 3-0.

A pair of one-out singles in the sixth would lead to Middlesworth making way for Jaren Emery. The senior would walk the first batter before allowing a run to score on a sacrifice fly, but escaped the jam with a strikeout as Oak Hill trailed 4-0.

Emery would strand two more in the seventh after allowing a pair of hits, keeping the Eagles within striking distance on the night.

“They’re not strikeout kids like Rodabaugh,” Edwards said of his pitchers on the night. “They keep the ball down and use the defense behind them. I thought Caleb did a great job. He got up in that upper-80s pitch count. His pitches were up and we went out and got him out of there.

“(Emery) got us out of that jam only give up a run. That’s what he was able to help us with. Both of them were tremendous today.”

Middlesworth lasted 5.1 innings, allowing nine hits, four runs and one walk with four strikeouts. Emery pitched the final 1.2 innings, giving up a walk and three hits but no runs with a strikeout.

Wes Transier, Creech and Hershberger each had two hits for Oak Hill on the night.

Leave a Comment