A sixth-inning rally aided by two costly Spring Grove errors and a timely "mistake" by Dillon Morgan helped keep Greencastle Antrim's baseball team unbeaten.
The Blue Devils (5-0) captured a 5-4 victory over the Rockets (5-2) on Saturday afternoon. Greencastle trailed for most of the game, but scored three runs during the rally, fueled by some plays in which good fortune smiled on the Devils.
The play of the game came after Morgan hit a ball that was misplayed, and the tying run scored to make it 3-3. He misread a signal from coach Eric Shaner and made an attempt to steal third base. Spring Grove pitcher Logan Miller read the steal and fired the ball to the third baseman, who then attempted to chase Morgan and tag him.
Morgan turned to try to get back to second, but the throw from the third baseman was wild, which allowed Morgan to sprint to third base and come all the way home to give the Blue Devils a one-run lead.
“I thought coach had called a fake bunt steal, so I tried to time it right,” Morgan said, “but in the end it all somehow worked out.”
The defense for both teams struggled, with each team committing multiple errors, many of which led to runs for the opposing team. Morgan had two hits for G-A, while Cam Sterner had two for the Rockets.
The Blue Devils held a 5-3 lead heading into the seventh inning, but Spring Grove refused to go down without a fight. Greencastle closer Derek Measell allowed a hit to the Rockets' leadoff batter and hit the next in the leg, putting men on first and second with no outs. But Spring Grove failed to take full advantage of the opportunity, scoring only one run and finishing the game with runners stranded on third and first.
“It certainly wasn’t the prettiest game, that's for sure,” Shaner said, “But I really praised our team for the way they acted when things weren’t going our way and the balls were bouncing over our heads or getting lost in the sun. When that happened we didn’t let up, we kept fighting and playing hard on the next play. Even in that last inning we were tested and we made some mistakes, but we bounced back.”
The loss wasn’t all negative for Spring Grove - they received five great innings of pitching from freshman pitcher Michael Gorman. He was brought into the rotation due to injuries, but pitched well for his first game, allowing only one earned run while giving up seven hits.