NORTH ROBINSON — In Northern 10 Athletic Conference baseball action on Monday, Colonel Crawford picked up their 17th win of the season, defeating Seneca East 5-4 in walk-off fashion.
Seneca East (9-7, 7-3 Northern 10) got on the board first due to an error. The Tigers put up one run in the first to give their pitcher some breathing room.
Colonel Crawford (17-0, 12-0 Northern 10) tied it up in the second when Drayton Burkhart stole home after Caleb Lohr initiated a pickle between first and second base.
Cade Hamilton got the start on the mound and went two innings, striking out one batter. Drayton Burkhart went the rest of the way, striking out five Tigers.
“Cade has pitched great all season. He had 47 pitches in two innings. We had pulled Drayton Friday, so he was eligible today,” said Eagles coach Dan Gorbett.
The Eagles struck again in the third when Carson Feichtner brought in Nolan McKibben on an RBI groundout to make it 2-1.
Seneca East bounced back in the fourth when Andrew Kalb rounded the bases on a pair of throwing errors. Colonel Crawford was able to get out of the inning with a 2-2 score after a Burkhart strikeout.
The Eagles crossed the plate again in the fifth when Feichtner recorded another RBI groundout. Colonel Crawford did a solid job of executing small ball Monday evening.
“I was really happy how we executed small ball. I told these guys especially in tournaments you have to do that,” said Gorbett.
The Tigers had their best inning in the sixth. Caden Fritz hit an RBI single, then a run scored on a passed ball. Burkhart was able to strike out the next two batters and then Mason McKibben threw a laser to home for the tag.
“I’m not sure we were at our sharpest, we made several mistakes that were uncharacteristic of us,” Gorbett said.
The Tigers retired the Eagles in order in the bottom of the sixth.
Trailing 4-3 in the seventh, the Eagles started things off with a Lohr walk. Thomas cranked a double that would score Lohr to tie the game.
The Tigers opted to intentionally walk Cade Hamilton, his third walk of the game. Feichtner was then hit by a pitch. Thomas tagged up and scored the game-winning run on a head’s up play after Ritzhaupt flew out in foul territory.
“(Thomas has) exceeded our expectations as a freshman. You start in the nine hole, now he’s leading off. I told him to tag up, they had nobody covering home. A heck of a way to win the game,” Gorbett said after the big win.
Thomas recorded three hits for Colonel Crawford.
Turner Bridgford pitched a complete game for Seneca East. He struck out three batters.
Now at 17-0 and at the top of the Northern 10, Colonel Crawford’s goal of winning the league is in reach.
“Our big goal is to win the league, we need to win at least two more to get the share,” Gorbett said. “We just have to come ready to play every game.”
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