Meadville Tribune

May 3, 2013

H.S. BASEBALL: Sailors slip past Blue Devils

By Drew Karpen
Meadville Tribune

May 3, 2013 7:00 a.m. STONEBORO — Four no-hit relief innings by Brandon Persch and Logan Snyder and a clutch two-out two RBI double by Shane Whitehouse to break a 4-4 tie in the sixth inning completed Lakeview’s come-from-behind 6-4 victory over visiting Cambridge Springs in a non-region showdown between to Single A opponents on Thursday.

“Our pitching has been giving us a chance to win all year,” Lakeview coach Bill Beith said. “That’s all you ask out of a pitcher.”

That wasn’t the case to start the game. Cambridge (0-9) was eager to pick up its first win of the season, knocking around Lakeview starter Derek Slater for three runs in the first inning. Gavin Hohn — Spa’s starting pitcher — led the game off with a line drive single. Hohn wound up stealing second base but that became a mute point when Hunter Cox launched a home run over the left center field fence for a 2-0 lead.

Hunter’s brother, Colton, followed with a single and came around to score on a throwing error by Sailors’ first basemen Zack Bigley.

Lakeview (4-5) began chipping away at the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Snyder led off with a double, advanced to third on a dropped third strike and came around to score on an infield single by Bigley to deep short.

Hohn regained the three run advantage in the second with a blast of his own, a solo shot, landing almost identical to where Cox’s did an inning before.

“You start the game like that and you hope to keep it rolling,” Cambridge coach Paul Frazier said.

Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, the four runs in the first two innings chased Slater from the game, a move that would be beneficial for the Sailors.

An RBI single by Snyder in the second cut the deficit back to two, and would remain there thanks to the stellar pitching performance by Persch.

Persch went two perfect innings in the third and fourth, striking out one to keep the Sailors in the game.

“Brandon (Persch) I thought did a very nice job coming in,” Beith said. “He hasn’t pitched since probably the second game of the year. I would of like to pitch him more but we have a game (today) and I would like to use him. I give him a lot of credit because even on the sidelines he hasn’t been doing a lot. I should of gave him a game ball because he really gave us a chance to win.”

Hohn had a great game on the mound as well, keeping the two run lead intact until the fifth, where he ran into some trouble.

Hohn began the inning with a strike out of Jake Heim before loading the bases on an error, hit by pitch and walk. Hohn was an out away from escaping without any damage after forcing Austin Slater to ground to Justin Tapper at third who got the force out at home.

The Blue Devils were chances of enter the sixth with the lead in tact were high after a grounder to short but the hustle of Tyler Patterson forced Hunter Cox to rush his throw wide of the bag, allowing two runs to score to tie the game.

Snyder entered as Lakeview’s third pitcher of the game in the sixth inning, making it only his second appearance on the mound this season.

Snyder had no problem, breezing through the Devils lineup in the sixth.

The Sailors were in business in the bottom half when Andrew Parimuna walked and stole second with no outs.

Once again, the Blue Devils looked like they were going to avoid any damage after Hohn got Jared Coulter to pop out to short and tagged out Parimuna trying to advance to third on a grounder to Tapper at third.

With one out and a runner on first, Hohn walked the hot-hitting Snyder, setting up Whitehouse’s timely double to right center to score two.

“We got lucky,” Beith said. “We ended up in the right part of our order. I can’t say enough about Logan (Snyder). He is just killing the ball right now. And that was a big hit for Shane (Whitehouse). He stepped up. As a three-year starter, you kind of expect things like that out of him.”

Cambridge had one last shot but only got a runner on second on an error before Snyder slammed the door.

Snyder picked up the win in relief to go along with his 2-for-4 performance at the plate with a RBI and two runs scored.

Hohn suffered the loss, going 5 2/3 innings allowing six runs (four earned) on five hits and eight strikeouts. He also went 2-for-4 with a RBI and two runs scored.

Despite the loss, coach Frazier was pleased on how his team continued to battle.

“You battle back and you don’t give up,” Frazier said. “You go home with a loss but I feel happy with our performance today. It should give these guys a lot of confidence. I have been telling them that I believe in them all year long and I think today they finally realized coach is right and that they can start to believe in each other.”