A young Susquehannock baseball team is gaining experience at winning extra-inning games this spring.
The Warriors won their third extra-inning game of the season on Friday evening, this time a 6-5 decision against Red Lion in a YAIAA inter-divisional game at Susquehannock High School.
The Warriors won with two outs in the bottom of the ninth as No. 6 hitter Josh Bobbitt laced a 2-2 pitch into right-center field, plating Dustin Babaie from second base with the game-ending run. Babaie had reached on a fielder's choice and took second on defensive indifference.
"At first, I was trying to do too much," said Bobbitt, a sophomore who saw some varsity action a year ago. "As soon as I hit it, I had a good feeling. I felt like I got good wood on it."
The Warriors also defeated Eastern York in 12 innings on April 11. They trailed Dover in the bottom of the seventh on Wednesday before tying the game in the seventh and winning it in the eighth. Sophomore Alec Kramer drove in two runs in that game. Kramer and Bobbitt were two of seven underclassmen that started Friday's game, with Kramer batting fifth.
"This is our third extra-inning game in a week and a half or so," said Susquehannock coach Tim Hare. "I think they have gotten to the point now where they believe they are going to get the job done. It's been great because it's been different guys all the time. It's not like we have to rely on (No. 3 hitter Connor Hood) doing everything. He knows he just has to get on and the guys behind him will do the job. (Friday), it was Josh."
It had looked as if the Warriors had this one wrapped up early as they took the lead with a 10-batter, four-run third inning. Susquehannock got two bases-loaded walks, a run-scoring wild pitch and an RBI single from No. 7 hitter Peyton Reider to highlight the inning.
Susquehannock (6-6, 4-4 Division II) tacked on a fifth run an inning later as Logan Mohar was hit by a pitch, sacrificed to second and scored on a single to left by No. 3 hitter Connor Hood.
Down five runs, apparently, Red Lion had the Warriors right where they wanted them. The Lions struck back with two runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth to tie the score.
Pinch-hitter Bret Landis delivered a clutch blow in the sixth with his first-pitch, two-run single down the right field line. Landis' single scored Connor Dewees from third and Cole Delp from second with the tying runs.
"I would say the biggest change we see from the beginning of the year up to now is development of greater character," said first-year Red Lion coach Kevin Lawrence, who teaches alongside Hare at Susquehannock High School. "It's easy to be a front-runner. We are developing the ability to be trail runners. I'd much rather play from ahead all the time, but that's never going to happen all the time. Once you fall behind, you can't just fall away. These guys are demonstrating mental toughness and high character."
But Red Lion (5-5, 4-4 Division I) could muster only two base runners over the final three innings as Babaie and Connor Hood teamed up for three innings of shutout ball at the end. Susquehannock starting pitcher Conor Miller opened the game with four scoreless innings.