MARION – Tyler Axline wasn’t looking for any particular pitch, just one to hit.
“I knew he would bring me one,” the Pleasant first baseman said of North Union pitcher Jake Cahill. “With runners on second and third, that was the go-ahead run out there, and he didn’t want to put one in the dirt.”
What Axline saw was a 1-0 curveball, which he swatted into left field to plate both runners for a 9-7 Spartans lead in the home sixth inning.
“I was just looking for a pitch over the plate,” Axline said after the Spartans had completed a 9-8 triumph.
His hit allowed Pleasant (10-4 overall and 7-0 in the Mid Ohio Athletic Conference) to rally from a 7-2 deficit after 41/2 innings.
“This type of win is good for the team,” Axline said. “We never quit. We play as a team, but we had to fight to win tonight.”
The win gave Pleasant a sweep of North Union (2-4, 2-3) in regular-season play. The Spartans beat NU 3-2 on April 1 in Richwood.
Kyle Galyk had tied the game earlier in the sixth with an RBI single.
North Union scored once on a wild pitch in the seventh and had the bases loaded with two outs before winning pitcher Zach Pytlarz got the final out on a foul pop-up.
Axline also knocked in two runs in the first inning with a double for a 2-0 Pleasant advantage.
North Union then scored seven unanswered runs with two in the third, three in the fourth, and two in the fifth.
Big hits in those innings for NU included RBI singles form Matt Skeins and Shel Collum in the fourth and Skeins’ two-run double in the fifth.
Pleasant tallied four runs in the fifth to get to within one run at 7-6. Two North Union errors in that inning helped the Spartans’ cause.
Galyk had three hits in four trips to the plate for Pleasant, including a triple. Pytlarz smacked a double, Matt Gabriel singled twice, and adding one hit each were Anson James, Chase Ambrose and Bryce McDonald.
Skeins singled and doubled and had three RBIs for the Wildcats. Collum knocked in two runs with a pair of hits, Jake Blevins and Cahill both singled twice, and Jordan Jones, Ross Payne and Kole Justin smacked one single apiece.