LEIPSIC — Leipsic head coach Darren Henry has seen a lot of baseball in time but even he was left a little speechless after watching the Vikings rally for a 10-9 comeback victory against Crestview in their Northwest Conference debut Thursday night.
Leipsic, down 9-0 after four innings was one run and three outs from being run ruled but in the bottom of the fifth the Vikings scratched out a run and then plated nine more in the bottom of the sixth to complete the comeback, stunning the Knights, the fans and Henry.
“I can’t even explain that” Henry said. “That is baseball and baseball can be crazy. We caught a break and took advantage of it and that is what it came down to.”
Leipsic improves to 3-1 and Crestview slips to 3-1.
“That is the sign of a good team,” Crestview head coach Jim Wharton said. “They just kept playing and they kept coming and they had their big inning we didn’t help ourselves. At that point we got to get some leadership and we have to make some plays. It is unfortunate because Carson pitched well and we got off to a great start of hitting the baseball and playing good defense and then all of a sudden they turned the switch and we didn’t get it done.”
“Hopefully we will grow from this and it won’t be the type of loss that sticks with you for a couple of days. We has just have to be able to flush that but tip your cap to Leipsic. They have some tough kids. Throughout the whole time they were behind they kept playing
Crestview dominated the first four innings with some timely hitting and a solid pitching performance Carson Hunter. The Crestview righty got a seven run cushion to work with after the first two frames and then the Knights added two more in the third inning.
Hunter was taken out in the fifth inning and he had pitched three-hit, one run ball with an impressive 12 strikeouts. At one point, the Knight hurler fanned six straight Vikings.
But in the sixth, the Viking bats came alive and on the strength of back-to-back doubles from Tommy Offenbacher and Quin Schroeder, along with hits from Jeremy Tavarez and Mason Brandt and some Knight fielding miscues Leipsic was able to overcome the nine-run deficit and take the lead, 10-9.
In the top of the seventh, Quin Schroeder, who was brought in relief in the second inning, pitched the remaining six frames, giving up two unearned runs and three hits. Aided by some big double plays in the fourth and fifth frame the Viking righthander threw shut out ball in four frames. He fanned three and walked two.
“You can’t say enough, he (Schroeder) came in and he pitched fantastic and the defense finally got going,” Henry said. “We were struggling defensively but we turned a couple of double plays and that kind of got us fired up a little too. We are young for the most part and we are still trying to figure where to put guys and our pitching we are still trying to figure out. We got lucky but we took advantage of the situation but we have got to play better.”
At the plate, Schroeder was 2 for 4 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Taveraz was 2 for 3 with 2 RBI and Ethan Zeisloft was 2 for 3 with 2 RBI and two runs scored.
For Crestview, Ayden Lichtensteiger, who led the game off with a home run, was 3 for 3 with a walk and a hit batesman, three runs and 2 RBI. Nathan Lichtle was 3 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored and Hunter ended the night, going 2 for 4 with 2 RBI.
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.