Baseball: Ellsworth escapes with 8-5 victoryEllsworth was on its way to an easy victory against Amery Tuesday when James Georgakas walked the first two batters of the seventh inning and was removed for a reliever.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
Ellsworth was on its way to an easy victory against Amery Tuesday when James Georgakas walked the first two batters of the seventh inning and was removed for a reliever.
The Panthers (10-2, 8-1 Middle Border) led 8-1 but Amery scored four runs after the pitching change and brought the winning run to the plate before striking out with the bases loaded to give Ellsworth an 8-5 victory in Hager City.
“We gave them an opportunity to come back in the ball game,” Ellsworth head coach Steve Block said.
Georgakas was visibly and audibly frustrated when he was taken out of the game but Block said it was just a matter of misplaced competitiveness. He said he’s never seen a pitch want to come out a game and Georgakas said that it was the right decision by the coaching staff.
“They were right, I needed to come out,” Georgakas said. “I just wasn’t throwing my best stuff. Pitch count was getting high; that might have something to do with it.”
He gave up three runs in six plus innings on three hits and three walks while striking out three.
Amery (4-8, 1-8 Middle Border) put the pressure on Georgakas in the first inning, getting one run, but Ellsworth responded with four singles and two runs in the bottom of the first.
The Panthers kept the momentum going in the second inning, plating five runs thanks in part to an error by Amery pitcher Gabe Paulson. Paulson made a fantastic diving catch on a bunt by Brandon Voelker but threw the ball away trying to get Dan Giese at first base. The misplay allowed Chandler Flynn to score and Ellsworth tallied four more singles in the inning, including a two-RBI single by Mitch Matter, to go up 7-1. Matter finished 2-for-3 with three RBI.
“I thought we hit the ball pretty hard,” Block said. “We took advantage of their mistakes. … On the whole, we were happy with most of their at-bats.”
The Panthers added another run in the fourth inning when Brady Schroeder led off with a single and stole second base. Jacob Betthauser moved him to third base on a ground ball to the first baseman and Tyler Marson got an RBI with a ground out to the second baseman. Schroeder went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three stolen bases in the win.
Amery struggled to get any offense going again until the leadoff walks in the seventh inning. Isaac Hines replaced Georgakas on the mound and Amery’s Jake Mullendore followed with a two-RBI triple to right field to cut the lead to 8-3. Mullendore scored when Sam Scheiffer grounded out to short stop. Mullendore was 2-for-4 to lead Amery.
Steven Bielmeier reached on an error by Matter at third base to get Amery started again and Paulson singled. After a fly out by Jordan Luehman, Lance Horubostel singled to load the bases with two outs. Block brought in Travis Kroll to pitch and he promptly hit the first batter to score a run and bring the go-ahead run to the plate. He struck out the next batter looking to end the game and get the save.
Next up, Ellsworth plays Somerset Friday in Somerset.