Even after overcoming a 9-1 deficit, Manual still needed the ball to bounce right for the Crimsons to hold off Christian Academy 11-10 in a quarterfinal game in the Seventh Region baseball tournament Monday at Pleasure Ridge Park.
Christian Academy already had scored once in the top of the seventh inning, and the Centurions had runners on first and second base with one out and cleanup hitter Austin Viola at bat.
Manual relief pitcher Ben Flanigan got Viola to hit a bouncer to the mound. Flanigan fielded and threw a one-bouncer to shortstop Jarrett Harness to force out Brett Cohoon at second. Harness relayed the ball to first to erase Viola for a game-ending double play.
” If we weren’t playing on a turf field, I don’t know if we would have gotten that bounce,” Manual coach Josh Wolff said.
The victory put Manual (24-10) in the semifinals against archrival Male (24-7) at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday at the University of Louisville’s Jim Patterson Stadium. Male beat Manual 6-1 on March 22 in their only meeting this season.
Male advanced by knocking off Atherton 8-1, scoring five runs in the fifth inning to break the game open. TJ Sartterly pitched 51⁄3 innings after relieving starter Brandon Gatz. Gatz was hit in the back of the head by a pitch thrown by Atherton’s Zach Davis with one out in the second inning and the score 1-1.
The game was delayed 45 minutes while Gatz lay on the field outside the batter’s box attended to by trainers while they waited for an ambulance.
After the game, Male coach Matt Walker said that they were taking precautionary measures and that Gatz was responsive and had full feeling his arms and legs.
* Manual 11, CAL 10: CAL jumped to a 9-1 lead, thanks to a five-run second inning highlighted by Sam Stone’s three-run homer to right. Stone’s blast made it 5-1 and Viola added an RBI single for a 6-1 cushion. Stone and Viola hit doubles in a three-run third that upped the count to 9-1.
Manual began its comeback with five runs in the bottom of the third when Nathan Smith, Sam Harper and Sam Coryell each hit RBI doubles. The Crimsons tacked on two more runs in the fourth on RBIs by Ben Hachten and Harper. Manual added two runs in the fifth, with Harness’ RBI single tying the game at 9. Harrison Scanlon drove in the go-ahead run on a fielder’s choice, putting Manual ahead 10-9.
The Crimson loaded the bases in the sixth on singles by Harper, Andrew Olson and Coryell. Harper scored on a bases-loaded walk to Alec Dunn.
* Male 8, Atherton 1: Spencer Jackson, Heath Brownley and Anthony Piccolo each drove in two runs as Male (24-7) erupted for six hits and five runs in the fifth inning to hike its lead to 7-1. With one out in the fifth, Justen Linares singled. Brownley and Piccolo followed with back-to-back RBI doubles for a 4-1 margin.
Satterly, the winning pitcher, Kainin Lewis and Jackson later singled to raise the lead to 7-1. Jackson and Cinares each had three hits for Male. Neil DeNicola had three singles for Atherton.
* St. Xavier 10, Central 0: Western Kentucky University signee Sam Melchior went 3 for 3 with a home run, a triple and five RBIs to lead the No. 2 Tigers (31-4) over the Yellowjackets (13-15) at Southern.
Sam Springer had two doubles for the Tigers, who will face rival Trinity on Wednesday at 5 p.m. in a regional semifinal at U of L.
* Trinity 5, Eastern 1: Senior Grant Rohleder tossed a four-hitter to lead the Shamrocks (16-15) over the Eagles (20-17) at Southern.