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  • Val T.

Rochester outmans Squires, will play Bremen in sectional final

Reinartz drives in 3, Hunting walks 4 times, pitching trio combines for 10 Ks


Sports Editor, RTC

The Rochester baseball team beat Manchester 17-2 in five innings Saturday in a Class 2A, Sectional 36 semifinal at Wabash Saturday. The Zebras (20-6) will play Bremen in the final at 7 p.m. Monday.

WABASH — Combining plate discipline, power and pitching, the Rochester baseball team beat Manchester 17-2 in five innings and gave coach Cory Good a milestone win in a Class 2A, Sectional 36 semifinal at Wabash’s Chris Rood Field Saturday.

Tanner Reinartz led Rochester by going 2 for 3 with three RBIs at the plate, including a two-run double in the second inning that gave the Zebras a 5-0 lead. Carson Paulik opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first, and he finished with two RBIs.

In all, eight different Rochester players had a hit, and eight different players had an RBI.

In addition to Reinartz, Tarick McGlothin and Jake Seuferer also had two hits each. Paulik, Brayden Zink, Ethan Medina, Gavin Young and Zakk Parks had one hit each.

The Zebras also drew nine walks with senior Luke Hunting drawing four.

“We’re not just trying to get a hit or hit the ball,” Good said. “We’re trying to hit the ball hard. And when we can stay disciplined at the plate and make sure that’s our approach, we do damage, and we did that really well today.”

Meanwhile, three different pitchers combined on a five-hitter. Aaron Huffman struck out six in three innings for the win, and relievers Zink and McGlothin each pitched one perfect inning with two strikeouts to finish the game.

Rochester improved to 20-6 and will play Bremen in the sectional final at 7 p.m. Monday. Manchester, who has no seniors, finished 11-15. They also lost to Rochester 20-0 in five innings in their Three Rivers Conference meeting at Manchester on May 3.

Bremen improved to 10-14 with a 5-1 win over LaVille in the first semifinal.

The win was the 100th in the career of Rochester coach Cory Good, who has been the coach since 2015. In his first four seasons, Rochester went 32-65. Since the start of the 2019 season, the Zebras are 68-36.

Manchester pitcher Evan Martynowicz was pitching against Rochester for the first time since 2021, when he received a no-decision in a 6-5 Rochester win in TRC play. Manchester was leading with two outs in the seventh inning in that game, and Martynowicz struck out seven in 6 ⅔ innings that day.

This time, Martynowicz was done one batter into the third inning. He gave up four hits and seven runs while walking six and striking out four.

“Just put the ball in play, put the pressure on the defense, make them make a play,” Good said of Rochester’s offensive mindset. “It’s tough, especially in the opening round of a sectional. There’s nerves there, regardless of what they say or whatever. It takes a little bit to get settled in, and I think we did a good job with ‘Marty’ today.”

After Paulik’s RBI single scored McGlothin two batters into the game, Martynowicz appeared to have a chance to escape a second-and-third, nobody out jam in the first. But he balked to bring Paulik home, and Ethan Medina drove a double to deep right to score Reinartz and make it 3-0.

Medina said he hit against Martynowicz in both high school ball and travel ball. He said that Martynowicz likes to get into a “groove” and get the ball back from the catcher and throw the next pitch right away.

Medina said the hitters were careful to make him slow down out on the mound.

“I was just looking for a base hit,” Medina said. “I knew I got down in the count 0-2, so I went to my two-strike approach. And I knew I just had to get my bat on the ball. He gave me my pitch in my two-strike approach, and I just went with it, and I got a result, and it was a double, and I’m not complaining about it. I got the energy going even more. Couldn’t have asked for a better hit to start a sectional.”

Martynowicz walked the bases loaded in the third before Reinartz’s double. Jake Seuferer’s RBI grounder made it 6-0.

Martynowicz walked Hunting to lead off the third, and Manchester coach Shane Smith replaced Martynowicz with Ethan Hendrix, a sophomore who had pitched only three innings all season prior to Saturday.

The Zebras then proceeded to score nine more runs, including an RBI single from McGlothin and an RBI fielder’s choice from Paulik combined with a throwing error trying to turn a double play that made it 9-0.

Reinartz’s second double in as many innings went over the left fielder’s head to make it 10-0. Jake Seuferer ripped a double inside the third baseline to make it 11-0. Brayden Zink’s looping single to left-center scored courtesy runner Zakk Parks to make it 12-0.

After back-to-back walks to Medina and Hunting to load the bases, Smith replaced Hendrix with Tallen Torpy.

A throwing error on Hunter Campbell’s RBI grounder to short scored Zink and Medina, and Landen Bumford’s pinch-hit sacrifice fly made it 15-0.

After a scoreless fourth, Conner Dunfee and Parks each scored on a wild pitch in the fifth.

Huffman allowed Gavin Martin’s RBI double in the third. A second run scored on a fielding error. But perhaps more importantly, Huffman threw only 39 pitches, which means that he will be eligible to pitch against Bremen.

Good declined to name a starter for the Bremen game but said that he will have “the whole stable” of pitchers available.

“Huff pitched tremendous today, 39 pitches through three innings,” Good said. “He just mixes his pitches up so well, keeps guys off-balance. He knows more about those hitters than I do sometimes. He just goes out there and competes. He’s a competitor. That’s the best way I can describe him on the mound.”

Medina praised Huffman for his competitive mentality.

“When I see Huff on the bus and get off the bus, he’s straight-faced and not talking to no one. So I know that Huff’s going to go out there and shove. … As long as he keeps throwing like that, we have a good chance of going far with him.”

McGlothin cracked a hard single to right to lead off the game. He went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Paulik’s line single to left-center.

Rochester 17, Manchester 2 (5 innings)

Rochester 339 02 – 17 11 1

Manchester 002 00 – 2 5 2

WP – Aaron Huffman (3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K)

LP – Evan Martynowicz (2 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 6 BB, 4 K)

2B – Ethan Medina (RHS), Tanner Reinartz 2 (RHS), Jake Seuferer (RHS), Gavin Martin (MAN)

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