Reinartz drives in 2, pitches 3-hitter as Rochester baseball clinches TRC title share
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
WABASH — The Rochester baseball team lost six games last year. Two of them were to Wabash, including a 10-3 blowout loss at Wabash’s Chris Rood Field to end their season in the sectional quarterfinals.
One year later, the bus ride was much happier. The Zebras will be no worse than co-Three Rivers Conference champions.
Tanner Reinartz pitched a three-hitter, and he also had two doubles and two RBIs at the plate as Rochester earned an 11-1 win in five innings over the Apaches Thursday.
“We were pumped,” Reinartz said. “This was one we wanted to get after, and when we got on them, stay down and don’t let off the gas.”
Already leading 1-0, Rochester scored seven runs in the fourth, the last six coming with two outs. They tacked on three more in the fifth.
Rochester improved to 15-4 overall and 7-0 in the TRC. They have won their seven TRC games by a combined score of 92-6. Tippecanoe Valley and Whitko are both 5-2 in the TRC and will need to win out and hope that Rochester loses at home to Peru Monday and North Miami Wednesday to get their own share.
Wabash lost their fifth straight game and dropped to 10-10, 3-4 TRC. Justin Booth had two hits to lead the Apaches.
Tarick McGlothin and Carson Paulik also had two RBIs each. Brayden Zink had two hits, one of which was an RBI single to left in the fourth that made it 2-0. Ethan Medina reached base all three times up and scored twice.
Wabash committed two errors, and they led to seven unearned Rochester runs.
The biggest error might have occurred in the top of the fourth with Colton Ferverda batting with two on and two out and the Zebras leading 2-0. Ferverda hit a grounder to short on a 1-0 pitch. The shortstop bobbled the ball and then rushed his throw after picking it up. The throw was wild and got behind first baseman Grayson Harner for an error. As Harner chased down the loose ball, Zink scored, Medina went from first to third and Ferverda reached second.
Instead of the inning being over, the lead was 3-0, and the inning was still going. An airmailed wild pitch from Wabash starter Keaton Fields scored Medina to make it 4-0.
Gavin Young then walked to put runners on first and third, and McGlothin lined a single to right to score Ferverda and make it 5-0 and move Young to third. McGlothin then stole second, and Paulik cranked a double just inside the left field line to score Young and McGlothin to make it 7-0. Reinartz’s double to the left-center field gap tallied Paulik to make it 8-0.
“In the third inning, first pitch out, second pitch out, and I think whoever was next (Paulik) saw like seven pitches,” Good said. “So I called them in after the third and said ‘Hey, it’s approach.’ … I think I got them grounded a little bit again just to focus on getting good pitches to swing at, and I think that’s what they did. … You can see the boat getting rocking or the wheels starting to shake. It’s going to happen. We’re going to break through. It’s just focusing at the plate and making sure we can get pitches we can drive.”
Wabash’s Trevor Daughtry reached on an infield single in the bottom of the fourth, stole second and third and scored on a wild pitch.
The Zebras scored three more times in the fifth off reliever Jason Tait on Hunter Campbell’s seeing-eye RBI single in the hole, Landen Bumford’s RBI fielder’s choice grounder and a sacrifice fly from McGlothin.
Reinartz then retired Daughtry on a fly to Medina in center with two men on to end the game. Reinartz said all three of his pitches – fastball, curve and slider – were working. He worked in a back door curve to lefties that also broke over the inside corner to righties.
The celebration was muted on the field, and Reinartz predicted a happy bus ride home.
“It’s a great feeling,” Reinartz, a sophomore, said. “It’s my first time clinching the TRC. … This is huge for the team. We’re going to party on the way home.”
After losing to Wabash at last year’s sectional, Good raved about Wabash’s two-strike approach at the plate. He again complimented Wabash coach Jack Holley and his program after this game, calling them “pesky” and saying that “it’s always a dogfight” against the Apaches. But he also said he does not dwell on what opponents do as much as he once did.
“We’ve tried to take a little step away from that this year and just really focus on what we can do and try to make sure we’re not beating ourselves,” Good said.
The first Wabash error came in the first inning. Fields appeared to pick McGlothin off first, but as McGlothin tried to stay in a pickle, a throw to try to get him at second went astray and into left field for an error that moved McGlothin to second. Reinartz then sliced a double to deep right-center to make it 1-0.
Rochester 11, Wabash 1 (5 innings)
Rochester 100 73 – 11 10 0
Wabash 000 10 – 1 3 2
WP – Tanner Reinartz (5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K)
LP – Keaton Fields (4 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K)
2B – Carson Paulik (RHS), Tanner Reinartz 2 (RHS), Jake Seuferer (RHS), Justin Booth (WAB)