At one point Monday, things looked bleak for the Immaculata baseball team.
Opening its regional tournament at home against 1-15 McLouth, the Raiders were staring a 9-4 deficit dead in the face heading into the bottom of the fifth.
Only nine outs remained and if the boys in green didn't get runs soon, its 2013 season would be a cruel, recent memory.
“Our pitching was struggling and our defense didn't back up our pitchers so it was just not there for us,” Imac coach Met Metivier said.
Nonetheless, the home team kept plugging away and after three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth inning, hope sprung eternal once again.
That belief was rewarded during the final frame in walk-off fashion. Cory Holcomb reached first on a single and then stole second. Up stepped Jarret McCall, who had tossed the last three innings in relief and held McLouth scoreless.
He quickly got a pitch he liked, stroked it for a hit which pushed Holcomb across home plate. Game over ― Raiders win, survive and move on.
“This team is very resilient,” Metivier said. “Ten out of 14 of our games have been decided by one run and they just find a way to win. There weren't any sad faces when he got down, just positivity and confidence that we could come back.”
McCall received both the pitching win and the nod for biggest hit of the game with his final inning heroics. Tanner Kerrigan also had an important two-out, two-run triple in the sixth.
Imac will now travel to Oskaloosa today for a 4:30 p.m. contest against Valley Falls.
Rams punchless at Riverside
The bats picked the wrong day to go cold for the Pleasant Ridge baseball team.
In its first round matchup of this year's regional tournament, the Rams mustered just two hits in a 6-0 road defeat at Riverside.
“We simply just didn't hit,” PR coach Mike Koontz said. “I thought their guy pitched well, but we also had some hard hit balls right at some people.”
Tyler Darrow and Sean Spurlock were the only two Rams to record hits in the shutout loss. Logan McKinney took the pitching loss.
“Logan threw well today, they strung some hits together,” Koontz said. “We just didn't hit the ball.”
Pleasant Ridge finished the season 7-10.