• Val T.

Brock star: Rochester stuns Manchester with 2-out rally in the 7th


Game-winning 2-run double follows intentional walk to Reinartz


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

NORTH MANCHESTER –- The Rochester baseball team will return to Manchester for a game in the spring of 2023.

Based on Rochester’s last two trips to Manchester, those planning on attending might not want to leave early.

In 2019, Rochester needed Brady Perez’s two-out homer in the seventh to force extra

Brock Beehler

innings in a game they wound up winning to clinch a share of the Three Rivers Conference title.

Wednesday’s game might not have had the conference title implications that that game did, but it was about as dramatic.

Trailing 5-3 with nobody on and two outs in the seventh, the Zebras mustered a three-run rally to stun the Squires 6-5.

Manchester freshman pitcher Evan Martynowicz retired Quin Stesiak and Tarick McGlothin on fly balls to center fielder Garrett Sites – Sites covered a lot of turf to run down McGlothin’s ball – to open the seventh.

He was one out away from a complete game win, and he had retired 13 consecutive Zebras.

Rochester coach Cory Good called Martynowicz “great.”

“We just haven’t really given up all year long,” Good said. “We definitely haven’t been in a

Evan Elliott

groove. We’ve been in a little slump for the past couple weeks. I think we lacked some confidence going into that seventh inning. With two outs in the top of the seventh inning, we focused on the things that we can control, and we hit the ball hard. And that’s what we’ve been looking to do all year long.”

Then Tanner Medina walked on a 3-2 pitch.

That brought up Evan Elliott, who lofted a fly to deep left field. Carter Bedke raced back but couldn’t get it as the ball just landed over his glove. Medina scored from first to make it 5-4.

Manchester coach Jack Rupley replaced Martynowicz with Hall. His first order to Hall was to intentionally walk Reinartz, who had two previous hits, including an RBI triple off the right-center field fence in the first inning.

That put the potential go-ahead run on base, but it brought up Beehler, who had been 0 for 3 up to that point.

Beehler then hit a liner into the left-center field gap. Sites and left fielder Gavin Martin both raced back. Martin left his feet and made a leaping effort to his left.

He didn’t catch it. The ball rolled to the wall.

With the runners going on contact, Elliott and Medina came around to score and give Rochester a 6-5 lead.

Beehler said it was not the first time he has batted in a game in which the hitter in front of him was intentionally walked. He did note that the game situation was unique. Regarding Manchester, he said it motivated him to “make them pay.”

“I know I was 0 for 3 going into that at-bat, and Kyle was supposed to be up before me, and Kyle was having a good game, and I told Kyle, ‘They’re probably going to walk you,’” Beehler said. “And they intentionally walked him. And I was like, I needed to step for my team. My team needed me. And I got a pitch right over the middle of the plate that I could drive, and I found a gap and drove in two runs. It felt great. … I just needed to find a pitch I could handle and know I could trust myself and have confidence.”

Tarick McGlothin then came in and struck out Luke Ramer, Martin and Darson Bradley to save the win for Beehler.

Beehler allowed two runs, both unearned, in four innings of relief. Beehler and McGlothin combined to retire the last 11 Manchester batters.

“The coaches told me they’d like to stretch me out more and see how it feels,” Beehler said. “I threw 10 more (pitches) than I did at Southwood (on May 5). I felt like I honestly got better as the game went on. I got looser and everything like that, and I was locating better. And I felt like even when they scored runs, I felt like I was giving up weak contact.

“They dinked and dunked. It is what it is. I can’t do anything about it. I didn’t end up walking anybody, I don’t believe. And that’s what makes me the happiest, throwing strikes and making them swing.”

Reinartz started and pitched the first two innings. All six of his outs came on strikes, but he also walked seven. Manchester scored two runs in the first on a fielder’s choice and error with two outs with the bases loaded.

Rochester led 3-2 going into the bottom of the second on Reinartz’s triple in the first and McGlothin’s two-out, two-run double that ticked off Bedke’s glove in the second.

Manchester tied it on Blake Pohler’s RBI walk in the second.

They took a 4-3 lead off Beehler in the third. Martynowicz singled, went to second on an error, went to third on Bedke’s single and scored on Thaddeus Baker’s RBI single.

Pohler singled with one out in the fourth and advanced to third when Ramer reached on a Rochester infielder’s error. That turned out to be the final Squire baserunner.

Martynowicz’s sacrifice fly to Medina in right field made it 5-3.

Reinartz and Grant McCarter singled in the third, but Martynowicz got Kane Lutz on a pop to third and struck out Seuferer.

The first two times through the Rochester order, the Zebras managed five hits and two walks. The third time through, Rochester went 0 for 9, and only Stesiak even managed to hit the ball out of the infield.

Things changed the fourth time through as another epic comeback happened.

“We just didn’t give up, and we needed something like that to build off here for these last two weeks of the season,” Good said.

Zebra notes

  • Rochester was coming off a 10-0 loss in six innings to Warsaw Saturday.

  • The Rochester-Northfield game that was postponed due to wet grounds Monday has been rescheduled for Saturday at Rochester’s Bob Copeland Field. The teams will play a doubleheader beginning at 10 a.m. Only the first game will count in the conference standings. Northfield will be the home team in the first game.

  • Rochester and Manchester could meet again in the Class 2A, Sectional 37 final at Wabash on Memorial Day.

Rochester 6, Manchester 5

Rochester 120 000 3 – 6 7 3

Manchester 211 100 X – 5 5 0

WP – Brock Beehler (4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)

LP – Justin Hall (⅓ IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K)

2B – Tarick McGlothin (RHS), Evan Elliott (RHS), Brock Beehler (RHS)

3B – Kyle Reinartz (RHS)


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