Reinartz, Campbell hold Caston to 4 hits in 10-2 win
Medina has 3 RBIs, Paulik has 3 hits
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Ethan Medina went 2 for 2 with three RBIs, and Brayden Zink drove in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fourth with a two-out RBI single to lift the host Rochester baseball team to a 10-2 win over Caston at Bob Copeland Field on April 15.
Sophomore Tanner Reinartz earned the win by allowing only one run, and he also helped at the plate with two hits and an RBI.
Carson Paulik added three hits and two RBIs, including a two-run single up the middle past a drawn-in Caston infield that gave Rochester a 4-1 lead in the fifth. Medina added a two-out, two-run double on a hot grounder just inside the first baseline to make it 6-1.
Rochester tacked on four more runs in the sixth. Gavin Young doubled to deep left to bring in two runs, and Reinartz and Medina had RBI singles.
“I wasn’t real thrilled how those first four or five innings went,” Rochester coach Cory Good said. “They were kind of flat like Plymouth (a 4-2 loss on April 11). We ran ourselves off the bases three times, just some boneheaded mistakes that we need to clean up when we get into conference play. I think that was the difference there. … We knew they’d come in here and give us everything they got, but I like the way we came back there in the fifth and the sixth.”
Hunter Campbell followed Reinartz to the mound and allowed one unearned run over the final two innings. Reinartz (nine) and Campbell (five) combined for 14 strikeouts.
“He kind of just switched them up,” Good said of Reinartz. “They were hitting the fastball well. We kind of went fastball-heavy early. You saw they hit those pretty well. So he just kind of changed his stuff, threw some more off-speed at them and got a little comfortable. So nice adjustment there by Tanner to recognize that.”
Talon Zeider, Gavin Mollenkopf and Pete DuVall started the game with back-to-back-to-back hits off Reinartz. Mollenkopf’s single produced a run.
But Caston did not get another hit off Rochester pitching until Noah Herd’s leadoff single in the seventh.
“I thought the Reinartz kid had his breaking ball on the inner third,” Caston coach Blake Mollenkopf said. “That was his best pitch. I think after the second inning, he started to develop that, and that’s a tough pitch in high school. If you can start that on the knees and let it break over … our guys hadn’t seen that kind of a pitch yet, and it fooled us a little bit, so that was some of the strikeouts. With Campbell, he just rares back and says, ‘Here it is. Now hit it.’ He’s a little bit in and out of the zone. It’s a credit to him a little bit because if you can find it enough, that makes it tough to hit because as a hitter, you’re thinking where’s this one coming?”
Pinch-runner Jonathan Pacheco later came around to score in the seventh inning on a passed ball.
Rochester tied the game at 1 on Jake Seuferer’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first.
In the fourth, a hustling Reinartz reached on an infield single on a grounder deep in the hole on the left side, and Seuferer followed with a single. Medina’s sacrifice bunt moved up the runners, but Reinartz was caught overrunning the bag, and Jackson Rentschler’s throw nailed him for a double play.
Zakk Parks, who was courtesy running for Seuferer, moved to second on the play and then scored on Zink’s hit.
Zink also had a two-run double the previous day in a win at Culver Academy. He said he’s been working on improving his timing at the plate.
“Really, I was just waiting back,” Zink said. “Today was a little bit slower-paced for us getting going, and I figured just change the approach, stay back, wait on it and just drive it.”
Noah Herd started and allowed two runs (both earned) over four innings. He walked one and struck out two. This was his first start after two relief appearances.
“He’s been solid this year,” Mollenkopf said. “For a sophomore, he’s made that jump from a JV arm last year to varsity this year. … We just ask him to throw strikes. He's developing that breaking ball, and he’s getting more consistent with it. It’s a work in progress, but man, he’s coming along, and I’m proud of where he’s at.”
Rochester 10, Caston 2
Caston 100 000 1 – 2 4 2
Rochester 100 144 X – 10 12 2
WP – Tanner Reinartz (5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)
LP – Noah Herd (4 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K)
2B – Talon Zeider (CAS), Carson Paulik (RHS), Ethan Medina (RHS), Gavin Young (RHS)