Red Lion shortstop Wyatt Tyson spent the first five innings of Wednesday afternoon's baseball game against Northeastern admiring from the middle infield, as teammate Briar Lauer put together a fine pitching performance on the mound for the Lions.
Then, Tyson was called upon to save it.
Tyson got the Lions out of jams in the sixth and seventh innings, as Red Lion emerged with a come-from-behind 5-4 YAIAA crossover win at Northeastern High School.
"It was kind of a tough situation," Tyson said. "I just wanted to help the team out. I knew the defense would make plays for me and we got it done."
Tyson entered the game with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning. Red Lion was ahead by a run but Northeastern was threatening with runners on first and third. The right-hander got a pop out to short and a ground out to first to preserve the lead.
"I was just thinking about throwing strikes and letting the defense work for me," Tyson said.
Northeastern's No. 2 hitter Jonah Latshaw gave the Bobcats one final chance to force extra innings in the bottom of the seventh. Latshaw reached on a one-out infield error, moved to second on an errant pickoff attempt and advanced to third on a ground out.
But Tyson shut the door, getting a ground out to shortstop to end the game.
Red Lion (2-0, 2-0 Division I) erupted for four runs in the fourth inning, behind three singles and two infield errors. Roger Shultz, who entered the game after cleanup hitter Alex Price injured his left wrist in the second inning during his first at-bat, ripped a two-run single to highlight the rally. Eric Paules added an RBI ground out.
"I'm so proud of this team in the way they hung in there and battled back," said Red Lion coach Darren Hake. "We could have hung our heads after we went down two runs and booted the ball all over the field, but we didn't."
Northeastern pitcher Chris Morales had retired nine straight Red Lion batters before the fourth. The righty retired five more in a row after Shultz's single and pitched into the sixth inning.
"There was good pitching on both sides," said Northeastern first-year coach Andy Srebroski. "Their two kids threw well. Our two guys threw well. It was just a couple of hiccups here and there."
Red Lion broke the tie in the sixth inning. Shultz opened with a walk, was sacrificed to second, advanced to third on a single by catcher Jonathan Smith and scored on an infield dribbler by No. 8 hitter Stone Hill.
"You can't defense that one," Srebrowski said with a laugh. "You got to tip your cap. It's a tough game to lose."
Northeastern (2-3, 2-1 Division II) opened the scoring with two unearned runs in the first inning and added two more in the fifth on a wild pitch and a run-scoring ground out by No. 3 hitter Kody Reeser. Red Lion won despite committing six errors in the game, including two each in the first and seventh.
Latshaw was 2-for-3 for Northeastern, which mustered just four singles in the game off Lauer. Alex Zelger was 2-for-3 for Red Lion.
"Everyone knows (Northeastern) is going to be one of the top teams in Division II," Hake said. "They are one of the top teams in the area. They have a very, very good team. They have a shot at going back to states again this year. This was a big win. We played a great team. We just got one more bounce."
Red Lion 5, Northeastern 4
RL, Briar Lauer, Wyatt Tyson (6) and Jonathan Smith. Ne, Chris Morales, Brayton Bare (6) and Devin Blymire.
SO-BB— RL, Lauer 3-3, Tyson 0-0. Ne, Morales 1-2, Bare 1-1; W — Lauer; L — Morales.