Bernicky hits 3-run blast for Valley in first, but Reinartz Ks 9
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Rochester 13, Tippecanoe Valley 3 (6 innings, April 24): Brayden Zink hit two of Rochester’s five homers, and Tanner Reinartz recovered after allowing Markus Bernicky’s three-run homer in the first to combine with Hunter Campbell on a four-hitter for the host Rochester baseball team in a win over visiting Tippecanoe Valley at Bob Copeland Field on April 24.
Tarick McGlothin tripled and homered and drove in three runs, and Jake Seuferer and Reinartz also homered for the Zebras, who improved to 2-0 in the Three Rivers Conference.
Seuferer also singled and finished with two RBIs. Gavin Young singled and drove in a run, and Carson Paulik had an RBI.
The game ended with Zakk Parks scoring on walk-off wild pitch.
“It’s what we’ve been talking about all year long with our approach,” Rochester coach Cory Good said of the hitting prowess. “Just making sure that we’re swinging at the pitches we can drive and early in the count. When we’ve got two strikes on us, we’ve got to change that a little bit. But when you have one or less strikes on you, be selective and wait for them to miss and drive the baseball.”
Good said none of his team’s first four homers were wind-aided. He said Bernicky’s blast was not wind-aided either.
“We hit the ball extremely well – five home runs in a game here … I don’t know if it’s ever happened before. This usually isn’t a home run park. Usually the wind is blowing in. It was blowing out a little bit today. It’s still chilly.”
McGlothin’s two-run triple in the second put the Zebras ahead for good at 4-3, and his solo shot in the fifth made it 12-3. He said he never tries to hit homers, and he said this one in particular did not feel like a homer. But he said the atmosphere in the dugout was “electric” with balls flying long distances off the bat.
“It was a long pop fly in my opinion, not a home run,” McGlothin said. “Now Brayden and Tanner’s, those were some true home runs. … Hitting is very contagious.”
Reinartz allowed three hits and three earned runs in five innings. He walked one and struck out nine. Campbell allowed one hit in a scoreless sixth while striking out one.
“He’s got a little tight left shoulder from diving on Saturday (against Oregon-Davis),” Good said. “We’re a little worried about how he was going to do. Tested him out here today but looked good. We were just worried about him, make sure he could still fill up the strike zone and throw a lot of strikes.”
While it was Reinartz and Campbell this time, Rochester has other capable pitchers in McGlothin, Ethan Medina, Aaron Huffman and Paulik.
“I think that’s what sets us apart from most teams,” McGlothin said. “I think our pitching depth will take us far in the tournament. That’s what we’re looking forward to in the end.”
Noah Prater and Annikan Pettit had singles for Valley in addition to Bernicky’s homer.
Cameron Manuel took the loss for the Vikings, allowing seven hits and 11 runs in four innings. He walked two and struck out four. Evan Myers relieved and pitched 1 ⅔ innings and allowed two hits and two runs (one earned) while walking one and striking out three.
“They were hitting really good,” Valley coach Jarred Littlejohn said. “I’m not going to take anything away from them. We got in bad counts, and we had to groove some pitches to get back into counts, and they were all on it. They took advantage of it. And they’re a good hitting team. We knew coming in that they were going to hit the ball around the field and that we had to make plays. And we had six errors, so that’s never going to win us any baseball games.”
Valley committed six errors which led to eight unearned runs for Rochester.
Rochester has not lost to Valley since 2017.
Rochester 13, Valley 3 (6 innings)
Valley 300 000 – 3 4 6
Rochester 161 311 – 13 9 1
WP – Tanner Reinartz (5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 9 K)
LP – Cameron Manuel (4 IP, 7 H, 11 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K)
3B – Tarick McGlothin (RHS)
HR – Markus Bernicky (TV), Jake Seuferer (RHS), Brayden Zink 2 (RHS), Tarick McGlothin (RHS), Tanner Reinartz (RHS)
Logansport’s Mock locks up Zebra offense, pitches 5-hitter
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
LOGANSPORT — The infield fly rule, artificial turf and high school baseball can be a weird mix sometimes.
It got invoked in the bottom of the fifth inning in Rochester’s game against host Logansport on April 25, and what looked like was going to be a crucial out in a scoreless tie turned out to possibly be a crucial turning point.
As for the rest of the game, the story was Logansport senior pitcher Izak Mock, who hurled a five-hit shutout as the Berries won 3-0.
Mock walked two and struck out three. One day after Rochester hit five homers in a 13-3 home win over Tippecanoe Valley, Mock held the Zebras without an extra-base hit.
Rochester got only one runner as far as second base. That happened in the fourth, but with Carson Paulik on second and Landen Bumford on first – Bumford was in the game as a courtesy runner for catcher Jake Seuferer, who had singled – Ethan Medina hit into an inning-ending double play to third baseman Cooper Smith, who threw to first to retire the side.
The other big defensive play by Logansport came when center fielder Dylan Pearson went back and to his right to rob Seuferer of extra bases to end the top of the sixth.
Paulik pitched 5 ⅔ innings and allowed three hits and three runs (two earned). He walked two, hit two batters and struck out three.
But it was an infield fly rule play on which Rochester did not record an out that gave Isaac Russell an extra opportunity to hit with the bases loaded and one out.
Russell hit a high pop-up on the infield on the right side of the diamond. The umpire signaled for the infield fly rule. This means that the ball can be caught with “reasonable effort” by the defense and the batter is out “if fair” even if the ball is not caught. The runners may advance at their own risk.
The second baseman, first baseman and pitcher looked at the pop fly and saw it drop in fair territory. The ball then bounced high on the spongy Logansport turf, and by the time a Rochester fielder touched the ball, it had bounced foul.
So it was a foul ball and not an out. Russell had another chance, and he later drilled a two-run double to left field.
“Touch it fair,” Rochester coach Cory Good said. “So if it hits the ground and we touch it in fair ground, he’s out. They said that when he touched the ball, it was in foul territory. … Right call, probably should have caught it. That was kind of the message there. … We should have caught it. That’s not what we’re teaching. I think everybody kind of just looked at each other a little bit. Just kind of a mental mistake there. … Big, pivotal point in the game. Definitely a learning moment, but that’s why we play these schools like this, to get ourselves tested and figure out what we need to work on.”
Logansport made it 3-0 in the sixth when Pearson tripled and scored on Smith’s squeeze bunt.
Good said he typically has thrown a young pitcher against Logansport as the game typically falls on a Tuesday in between conference games. He said Paulik was “unreal” in what he called “his first real start.”
“He really kept them off balance,” Good said. “Scoreless through four … We know what he’s capable of. We’re trying to get these guys in good situations and trying to see what they can do. We want to put them up against some good talent and see how they stack up. So I’m proud of the way Carson threw the ball for sure.”
Good credited Mock for keeping the Zebras off-balance.
“We’ve seen Mock before,” Good said. “He’s an efficient guy. He works quick. I thought he threw a fair amount of strikes. I was OK with the approach at the plate. We hit the ball hard a few times. It seemed like if either team hit the ball hard to the outfield, there was an outfielder standing there today. So hit the ball hard sometimes. Had some pressure on them but just couldn’t string a lot together today. Just didn’t play our best game all around today.”
Logansport 3, Rochester 0
Rochester 000 000 0 – 0 5 1
Logansport 000 021 X – 3 3 0
WP – Izak Mock (7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K)
LP – Carson Paulik (5 ⅔ IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K)
2B – Isaac Russell (LOG)
3B – Dylan Pearson (LOG)