Pine strands 13 runners in loss to open league

Published 1:22 pm Friday, March 31, 2017

COVINGTON — There’s an old saying in baseball, “get’em on, get’em over, get’em in.”
For the most part in Pine’s 5-4 nine-inning loss to Northlake Christian School on Tuesday, the Raiders did a great job of getting runners on and over, but they struggled getting them home.
“We had our opportunities early in the game,” Pine coach Blake Dillon said. “We had bases loaded in the first and second inning and didn’t get any runs off of that and when you play good teams like Northlake, you’ve got to take advantage of every opportunity you have in the game, and really, the first couple of innings hurt us.”
Pine left 13 runners on base and 10 were stranded in scoring position.
The Raiders had the bases loaded in the first inning with one out and again in the second with two outs, but failed to capitalize.
The Wolverines jumped out to a 3-0 lead with single runs in the first, second and fourth innings.
In the first, Jake Nunmaker reached on an infield single with one out and scored when the next hitter Buddy Kyle doubled to right to make it 1-0.
In the second, John Macaluso began by singling. He went to second on a passed ball, third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI groundout to first by Brock Adams. It was 2-0 after two.
In the fourth, Macaluso tripled, Jack Ethridge walked. Macaluso was picked off at third when Pine picked at third, as Ethridge was stealing second. Ethridge scored when Adams reached on an error. It was 3-0 through four innings.
But the game was far from over. The score stayed 3-0 until the seventh when Pine broke through and did so in a big way.
Tate Roach walked and Dillon Morris reached on a fielding error, putting runners at first and second with nobody out. After the first out, Rion Terrell lined an RBI double to the right centerfield gap, plating Roach with the Raiders’ first run. Trey Cooper reached on a fielding error. Morris tallied and Pine was within one and now had the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base.
Potential turned to reality when Luke Fonda put his club in front with a two-run single down the first-base line. Terrell and Cooper scored and the Raiders had the lead, 4-3.
But the Wolverines came back to tie things in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Diego Sanchez doubled and with two outs, Macaluso hit an RBI single to left, plating Michael Swan with the tying run.
The game went to extra innings, even at 4-4.
Neither teams scored in the eighth. Pine went in order in the ninth for the first time in the contest and Northlake Christian tallied the winning run in the bottom of the frame.
Dale Dufrene walked and Nunmaker singled. Kyle attempted to move the runners over, but a throwing error to first allowed Dufrene to come in with the winning run.
Kendall Sheridan had one hit. Roach walked three times, got hit and scored a run. Morris and Cooper scored a run each. Terrell had an RBI double and a run scored. Fonda had a hit and two RBIs. Kaden Fersch posted two hits and Dakota Brooks added one.
Pine’s Ethan Knight was solid on the mound. He went the distance, allowing three earned runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts and eight walks.
Dillon said that Knight pitched a “heck of a game,” threw a lot of strikes and kept the Raiders competitive throughout the contest.
Pine bounced back Wednesday and defeated Northlake Christian School, 3-2, at home.
The Wolverines jumped out to a 1-0 lead after one, but Pine tied things 1-1 in the third. Northlake Christian went back in front, 2-1, in the fifth, but the Raiders responded with two runs in their half of the inning to go up 3-2.
Pine posted six hits in the game.
Morris and Cooper tallied two hits apiece. Morris drove in a run and scored one.
Roach and Terrell had one hit each. Roach doubled and drove in a run.
Sheridan scored two runs.
Terrell went the distance on the mound, allowing no earned runs on six hits with four strikeouts and four walks for the win.
The teams play once more. That game takes place today at Northlake Christian School and first pitch is set for 6 p.m.

Pine’s Kaden Fersch singles to left field in the second inning of Tuesday’s road game against Northlake Christian School. Fersch had two hits Tuesday.