Wildcats nip Redskins
MINGO JUNCTION – Brian Straka delivered a key bases-loaded single in the final frame Wednesday as Edison completed its opening week sweep of Indian Creek with a 4-3 win at Muth Field.
Josh Pasek started the game-winning rally for the now 2-0 Wildcats when he worked Creek’s Sean Smith for a lead-off walk. He would steal second and move to third on Austin Horan’s base hit. Nolan Marcus was intentionally walked to load the bases. Pasek was forced at home when Alec Jones grounded to third. The bases, however, were still loaded with Cats.
Straka stepped in and drilled a Smith pitch to left, scoring Horan and giving Mike Collopy’s club the lead for good. Straka had a perfect night at the plate, recording three singles in as many trips. He also drew a sixth-inning walk and scored what was then the tying run.
Alec Jones, who went the distance on the hill, retired three straight Redskins in the home half of the seventh to secure the victory.
“I’m real happy for Brian (Straka),” Collopy said. “He missed all of last season with an injury and he’s just getting back in tune with the game. We expect him to do the job and tonight he really delivered.”
Collopy, whose club blanked Creek 9-0 on Monday, also praised Alec Jones for really “competing.”
“He’s a senior and we expect a lot from him,” the Edison coach noted. “We have a lot of confidence in him and we know he is mentally tough. He threw strikes tonight and that allowed our defense to be ready. When you throw strikes, good things happen.”
The Wildcat hurler scattered seven hits, recorded two strikeouts and did not allow a walk. His defense halted a Creek rally with a double play in the fourth. Horan snared a line drive off the bat of Cole Yeater and fired to first to complete the twin-killing. Jones scooped up a Zach Crawford bullet in the sixth to cut short another Redskin threat. The out was recorded following back-to-back singles by Yeater and Smith.
Creek grabbed a 3-2 advantage thanks to some two-out lightning in the fifth. Tanner Wise singled to right (his second hit of the game), swiped second and scored when Alex Young reached on an error. Young proceeded to steal a base before scampering home on Dustin Rath’s base hit to left.
Edison knotted the score in the sixth when Straka drew his free pass then advanced as Storm Allese got on board thanks to a Creek fielding miscue.
Both moved up on Chance Wilkin’s sacrifice. Straka was able to score thanks to Dylan Glasure’s fly to right.
“The result of the first game was deceiving,” Collopy pointed out. “That score was 1-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth. Indian Creek has a nice squad. We still have a lot of work to do but anytime you can start at 2-0, we’ll take it.”
Creek, now 1-2, received a solid outing from Young, making his first pitching start in almost two years. He worked five innings, allowed just three hits and fanned seven. Smith took over in the sixth and was charged with the loss.
“He threw real well,” Redskins coach Mike Cottis said of Young. “I was worried about his pitch count and have to look down the road. Sure, it would have been great to win but I didn’t want to wear Alex down.
“Both teams had some key hits tonight. One inning in the field made a difference. If we would have made some plays, we probably would have had the W. But, that’s high school baseball.”
The Redskin defense also made a couple of outstanding plays. A great stretch by Zach Williams at first completed a double play in the fourth. Wise ended an Edison rally in the fifth with a diving catch in center.
Creek outhit Edison 7-5. Like Wise, Yeater recorded two. Horan and Marcus had the other Edison hits.
Both teams are back in action Friday, Edison hosting Buckeye Local and Indian Creek visiting Martins Ferry.
“I’m proud of our kids,” Cottis added. “They gutted it out and played well.”
Edison 4, Indian Creek 3
Edison 001 011 1 – 4 5 2
Indian Creek 010 020 0 – 3 7 2
EDISON (2-0): A. Jones (WP, 2K, 0BB ) and Glasure; Straka 3S, RBI, R; Horan S, R; Marcus S; Pasek R; Baker R.
INDIAN CREEK (1-2): Young (7K, 3BB), Smith (6, LP, 1K, 3BB) and Freshwater; Wise 2S, R; Yeater 2S; Rath S; Williams, S, R; Smith S; Young R.