Ramsey scores on walk-off wild pitch in Valley win over Maconaquah
Craft, Prater, Pettit team up to throw out potential go-ahead run at plate in 7th
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
AKRON — Issiac Ramsey scored on a walk-off wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead the Tippecanoe Valley baseball team to a 5-4 win over Maconaquah in Three Rivers Conference play on May 9.
Valley scored four of their runs on wild pitches and the other run on a groundout to second base.
“It’s a different way to win, I guess,” a smiling Valley coach Jarred Littlejohn said.
Ramsey led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk off Maconaquah pitcher Kaleb Shelton. Shelton responded with back-to-back strikeouts of Hunter Craft and Noah Prater.
Ramsey then stole second, and with first base now open, Maconaquah elected to intentionally walk Annikan Pettit, Valley’s catcher and a Grace College recruit.
“I know we needed to get me in scoring position with Annikan coming up right there,” Ramsey said. “So taking the bag was a must really. … I noticed every time (Shelton) came set, he wasn’t looking at me anymore, so therefore, he’d stay on the rubber for about three seconds, so as soon as he had that pattern down, it was easy to take second base.”
With Markus Bernicky up and the sunlight fading, both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Ramsey then scored on another wild pitch to end it.
“No one was holding me on, so I got a little bigger lead, and once I saw that catcher go up with the glove, I just took off,” Ramsey said.
Leading 4-3, Valley had gotten within one out of winning in the top of the seventh, but Zane Lahrman singled to right field to score Brandon Smitley.
Haydon Chance tried to score from first on the play. Ramsey fell down in right field, so center fielder Craft hit cutoff man Noah Prater, who fired home to Pettit, who held his ground and tagged Chance for the third out.
“We worked on that for 45 minutes last night at practice – relays,” Littlejohn said. “So that’s something that we work on. We take pride in hitting our cuts and making the good throw where it’s got to be.”
Valley scored three runs in the fourth to break a scoreless tie. All three runs scored on wild pitches.
Evan Myers shut Maconaquah out through four innings before giving up a run on Trace Armstrong’s sacrifice fly. Maconaquah scored two more runs in the sixth – both unearned thanks to a two-out error – to tie it.
Valley re-took the lead in the bottom half on Cameron Manuel’s RBI groundout to second base that scored Myers.
“I give all that credit to our seniors,” Littlejohn said of his team’s positive response to adversity. “The seven seniors, that’s what we expect. We expect to respond, especially when they fight back. They’re a good team. They fought back. And we responded well and kept fighting and kept pushing to get a win.”
Valley improved to 7-7 overall and 4-2 in the conference. All three remaining conference games against Southwood, Northfield and Manchester will also be at home.
Valley 5, Maconaquah 4
Maconaquah 000 012 1 – 4 8 2
Valley 000 301 1 – 5 4 2
WP – Markus Bernicky (1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K)
LP – Kaleb Shelton (⅔ IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K)
2B – Jackson Collins (MAC)