Northwest Ends Season in Region 23 Tournament Quarterfinals
May 17, 2013
POPLARVILLE – In a back-and-forth game that saw a combined 16 runs off 29 hits, it was 16th-ranked East Central who scored seven unanswered runs over the final two innings to take a 10-6 victory and end Northwest's season in the Region 23 Tournament.
East Central improved to 32-20 and will move on to face Pearl River in an elimination game at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Northwest closed the season 31-18 overall.
Northwest took an early 2-0 lead in the third, using RBI-singles from Chase Clark and Jordan Barnes. Dylan Castoria led off the inning with a walk, was sacrificed to second and scored off Barnes' single. Clark then singled home Barnes.
ECCC cut the deficit in half in the fourth, as Chase Domino singled home Tim Anderson after a single and error moved him into scoring position.
The Warriors pushed back in front an inning later, putting the first five batters on base. Ryan Shotts' infield single tied the game at two apiece before Kalik May singled deep in the hole at short for the 3-2 lead.
Cody Waddell entered in relief of Matt Ferguson with one down and the bases loaded and was able to get back-to-back flyouts to escape further damage.
Northwest threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth, putting runners at first and second with no outs, but three consecutive fly balls got Mitchell Wooten and ECCC out of the jam.
The Rangers would draw even in the sixth on Jay King's bloop single to right-center and then retake the lead 4-3 off a wild pitch that scored Castoria.
Waddell escaped another bases loaded jam in the seventh for Northwest, getting Xzavier Franklin to strikeout to end the inning.
Northwest would capitalize again in the bottom half and take a 6-3 lead, as James Lear drove in Kramer Hollenbach on an RBI-single to center and J.D. Tackett singled through the right side to score Lear.
But East Central wouldn't go away quietly and rallied to retake the lead in the eighth.
The Warriors loaded the bases with nobody out and pulled within 6-5 on a chopper over the head of Lear at third that scored two. Rubert Alcantara followed a batter later with his fourth hit of the game, singling home a pair to make it 7-6 ECCC.
Northwest stranded runners at the corners in the bottom of the eighth – its 11th and 12th of the game –with the tying run just 90 feet away.
A leadoff walk to the No. 9 hitter again came back to haunt the Rangers in the ninth, as the Warriors quickly added another on Shotts' double down the line. A bases-loaded walk and hit-by-pitch made it 10-6.
Northwest got a runner on in its final at-bat, but a 1-6-3 double play ended the game.
Fernando Gonzalez tossed 2.0 innings of shutout ball to earn the win for ECCC, while Tanner Cable (4-4) was hit with the loss after giving up four runs (three earned) off three hits in 1.2 innings of relief.
Five Rangers finished with multiple hits, led by Lear and Hollenbach with three hits apiece.
Alcantara was the thorn in the Rangers' side, going 4-for-5 with three RBIs in the No. 5 spot, while Shotts was also 3-for-6 with four RBIs in the leadoff spot.
In a season full of individual records, Northwest set a new single-season team record in the bottom of the fourth when Lear stole third for the Rangers' 125th stolen base of the year. The feat broke a 28-year record of 124 bags set during the 1985 season.
Northwest will say goodbye to 11 sophomores who were a part of 56 wins the past two seasons.