Rochester beats Southwood on McGlothin’s walk-off double
Medina retires all 10 batters he faces, gets win
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Tarick McGlothin had two hits and two RBIs, including the walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Rochester baseball team a 3-2 win over Southwood at Bob Copeland Field on April 27.
Ethan Medina provided 3 ⅓ perfect innings of relief for the Zebras, who improved to 10-0 overall and 3-0 in the Three Rivers Conference.
Jaron Craft had an RBI groundout in the fourth, and Luke Pershing also drove in a run with a grounder in the fifth for Southwood, who fell to 0-7, 0-3 TRC.
Southwood won both the TRC and their Class 1A sectional last year, but they have lost eight straight games.
Rochester trailed 2-1 going into the bottom of the seventh, but Aaron Huffman’s sacrifice fly off Joey Bland scored McGlothin to tie it.
Medina got Pershing on a grounder to first, struck out Dalton Barney and got Jarrett Craft on a grounder to second in the top of the eighth.
In the bottom half, Jake Seuferer led off with a single to center field. Drew Bowers came in as a courtesy runner. Two outs later, Colton Ferverda walked.
McGlothin then ripped a high fastball to the right-center field gap, and Bowers scored the game-winning run without a play as the Zebras emptied out of the dugout to mob McGlothin celebration.
McGlothin hits leadoff for the Zebras, and afterwards, Rochester coach Cory Good compared McGlothin to former Chicago Cubs leadoff hitter Dexter Fowler.
“I don’t know that guys realize how important it is when they get on base,” Rochester coach Cory Good said. “A couple years ago, I don’t remember who was leading off for the Cubs, but it was always, ‘You go, we go.’ And there’s a ton of truth to that.
“We definitely came in flat today off a couple big wins, three straight games. But Tarick was huge there in the seventh and the eighth. We kept telling him, ‘Hang with it. Hang with it. Your time’s coming.’ And he did exactly what we needed him to do and exactly what we expect him to do in that situation.”
McGlothin drove in the game’s first run with an RBI grounder to first in the second off Southwood starter Blayne Hamilton. That followed a walk to Hunter Campbell, a hit-by-pitch to Gavin Young and Ferverda’s sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third.
Southwood came in with a team ERA of 14.14, and Rochester had scored in double figures in five consecutive games. But Rochester struggled against Hamilton and Bland after that.
They only put one runner in scoring position between the third and sixth innings. Medina got a bloop hit, and Tanner Reinartz reached on a dropped fly ball in center field in the fifth, and Southwood coach Steve Swinson replaced Hamilton with Bland.
Bland then struck out Huffman and got Evan Elliott on a pop-up to short.
Meanwhile, Rochester starter Brayden Zink blanked the Knights over the first three innings and finished with eight strikeouts. He also walked six over 4 ⅔ innings. Two of the six walks came around to score.
After Pershing’s RBI grounder to Hunter Campbell at third in the fifth, Zink walked pinch-hitter Dalton Barney to load the bases. Medina, who had been playing center field, was summoned to pitch, and he retired Jarrett Craft on an inning-ending forceout.
Of the 10 outs Medina recorded, six came on the ground, and the other four were strikeouts. Medina was relying on curves and sliders to get in on the hands of Southwood’s right-handed batters.
Medina said he feels comfortable throwing to Seuferer, to whom he’s thrown “almost all my life” going back to their travel team days with the Warsaw Attack.
“I came in knowing I had to do my job because we were down, and I just knew if I did my part on the mound, we’d do our part on offense,” Medina said. “It started clicking. I was feeling it, and the bats started coming hot. Once everything starts going, we all start clicking.”
McGlothin led off the seventh by lining a single to right. One out later, Tanner Reinartz singled him to third. Reinartz advanced to second on the throw to third.
Huffman’s two-strike fly ball to left was deep enough to score McGlothin.
“It’s cold, it’s tough to stay loose and get going, but he grinded that out,” Good said of Huffman. “He competed that whole time, and he just out one out there with a great baserunner on third base, and we’re going to tag on that all day long.”
Rochester 3, Southwood 2 (8 innings)
Southwood 000 110 00 – 2 4 1
Rochester 010 000 11 – 3 8 0
WP – Ethan Medina (3 ⅓ IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K)
LP – Joey Bland (3 ⅓ IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)
2B – Tarick McGlothin (RHS)