Louisville Rallies, Falls in 8th to Cloverleaf – Baseball
Cloverleaf 7, Louisville 6, 8 Innings
The Louisville Leopards Varsity Baseball Team fell to the Cloverleaf Colts 7-6 in eight innings Monday evening as part of the Constitution Town Early Bird Tournament held at Andy Aljancic Field. With the loss, Louisville is now 1-1 on the season.
Gotshall Goes 3-for-4 to Lead the Leopards
Catcher Kaedin Gotshall batted 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI single to lead the Leopards. In the top of the seventh, first baseman Ryan Aljancic hit a game-tying solo home run when Louisville was down to their final out to help force extra innings.
Louisville Rallies from 6-3 Deficit
Facing a 6-3 deficit, the Leopards began their rally with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth. Gotshall doubled to start the frame and was replaced by courtesy runner Anthony Warner. After the next two LHS batters were retired, shortstop Evan Kroah reached on an error scoring Warner from second. Left fielder Connor Adelman followed and also reached on an error scoring Kroah to cut the deficit to 6-5.
Louisville held Cloverleaf off the board in the bottom of the sixth to keep their disadvantage to a single run. Leopards relief pitcher Caleb Miller sent down the Colts in order using just nine pitches.
Aljancic Hits Game-Tying Homer in the 7th
Cloverleaf pitcher Logan Tierney came out of the bullpen and seemed well on his way to picking up the save after retiring the first to Louisville hitters. Down to their final out, Aljancic had other plans as he crushed a 1-1 pitch over the fence in center field. It was the first Leopards dinger of the season and it tied the game at 6-6.
Two pitches later, Gotshall smashed a double to left field to put the go-ahead run into scoring position. However, Tierney got the next batter to fly out to left field to keep the game tied.
Miller continued his dominance on the mound by retiring the side in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings. He struck out a pair of batters swinging in the process and got the middle hitter to ground out to second baseman Tyler Jackson.
Leopards Leave Two Stranded in the 8th
Louisville made some noise in the eighth inning, but was unable to bring any runners to the plate. Third baseman Connor Morley singled to start the inning and Kroah advanced him to second on a sacrifice bunt. Zack Seaman came to the plate next and reached on an error by the shortstop. Courtesy runner JT Popick advanced to third on the error and Seaman stole second two pitches later to put both runners in scoring position. However, Tierney got out of the jam with a fly out to second baseman Ashton Newton to preserve the tie heading into the bottom of the eighth.
Cloverleaf Wins on Walk-Off Passed Ball
Miller picked up right where he had left off by retiring his seventh straight Cloverleaf batter with a 4-pitch strikeout of Colts cleanup hitter and left fielder Jermey Cottrell. The wheels fell off after that as first baseman Jason Sitko followed with a single to left field. Then third baseman/shortstop Justin George reached base via an infield error to put runners on second and third. LHS elected to intentionally walk right fielder/third baseman Trent Youngeberg to load the bases and set up the force at home or double play in the field.
It didn’t matter as three pitches later Sitko scored on a passed ball to give the Colts a 7-6 extra inning victory. Tierney picked up the win for Cloverleaf, while Miller took the loss for Louisville despite a gutsy 2 1/3 inning, 4 strikeout performance in relief.
Louisville Takes the Early Lead
The Leopards took an early 2-0 lead back in the first inning. Center fielder Charlie Roberts and designated hitter Broc Pickens hit back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners with 1 out. Louisville executed a flawless double steal in the next at-bat with Pickens drawing the throw while taking second and Roberts stealing home in the process. Later in the inning, Gotshall singled home Pickens from second to put LHS in front 2-0.
The Leopards extended their advantage to 3-1 in the second inning. Adelman got aboard via an error and then stole second base. Seaman then delivered an RBI single to centerfield scoring Adelman from second.
Cloverleaf Goes Back in Front
The Colts got on the board in the bottom of the first when Cottrell singled in Newton to make it 2-1.
Cloverleaf pushed three runs across the plate in the bottom of the third to snatch the lead. Catcher Tyler Biskup led off the frame with a double and was singled home by center fielder Max Dieckhoner to cut the deficit to 3-2. Two batters later, Tierney drove in Dieckhoner to tie the game at 3-3. With two outs, the Colts took their first lead when Sitko reached on an error scoring Tierney from second.
Errors plagued the Leopards again in the bottom of the fifth allowing for another pair of Cloverleaf runs. Newton reached base on an error and then later scored via an error to make it 5-3. Tierney was also able to advance to third on the play and then came home via Cottrell’s sacrifice fly in the next at-bat to put CHS in front 6-3.
Starters Pitch Well Despite Combined 12 Errors
Louisville was charged with 7 errors in the field and Cloverleaf also with 5. As a result, only 4 of the 11 runs given up by the two teams’ starters were earned.
Leopards starting pitcher Tony Brahler pitched 5 innings, surrendered 2 earned runs on 5 hits, and struck out 1. Colts starter Drew Shreck pitched 5 1/3 innings, gave up 2 earned runs on 6 hits, and fanned 7. Broady Wittman also pitched two-thirds of an inning in scoreless relief while striking out 1 for CHS.
This was the first known meeting between the two teams in varsity baseball.
Note: Although playing on their home field, Louisville was the away team on the scoreboard as determined by a coin flip prior to the first pitch.
JV: Louisville 6, Cloverleaf 6, 8 Innings
UP NEXT: The Louisville Baseball Team will next host the Conneaut Spartans on Tuesday, March 30 for the second day of the Constitution Town Early Bird Tournament. Fitch pitch is slated for Noon from Andy Aljancic Field.
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VARSITY BASEBALL BOX SCORE
COLTS 7, LEOPARDS 6
LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS BASEBALL VARSITY BATTING STATS
LOUISVILLE LEOPARDS BASEBALL VARSITY PITCHING STATS
CLOVERLEAF COLTS BASEBALL VARSITY BATTING STATS
CLOVERLEAF COLTS BASEBALL VARSITY PITCHING STATS
Records: Louisville 1-1