Toronto catches fire late, douses Oak Glen in 15-5 victory
NEW MANCHESTER — It is never how a baseball team starts to begin a ballgame. Rather, it is about how it finishes.
Oak Glen took a two-run into the top of the fifth inning Thursday against Toronto with great starting pitching from Cody Patterson, timely hitting and a solid defense.
After that, however, the Red Knights exploded, took all of the momentum and seemingly cruised to a 15-5 victory. Every Toronto player in the starting lineup recorded at least one base hit.
“It just says a lot about our kids. They’re real resilient,” Toronto head coach Brian Perkins said. “Their pitcher did a nice job of keeping us off balanced in the beginning. Tip your hat to him, but our kids just found a way to keep competing at the plate. We finally broke through and got hot after that.”
The Golden Bears (1-1) held a slim 4-2 lead after four innings before the Red Knights (8-1) outscored them, 13-1, the rest of the way.
Toronto scored three times with two outs in the fifth and got Patterson out of the game. Brycen Miller singled and later scored on a fielding error. Later on with the bases loaded, Caleb Cline relieved Patterson, and Brant Reeves lined a two-run single for the Red Knights’ first lead, 5-4.
“(Patterson) started getting a little tired. He threw about 97 pitches in his first outing, so we’re not going to tear his arm up early in the year,” first-year Oak Glen coach Eric Hayden said. “He had a great outing, threw strikes, controlled the game and controlled the running game.
“We made the plays behind him early on. By the fifth, they started to drop.”
Patterson went 4 2/3 innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on five hits, four walks and struck out six.
The Bears tied it up in the bottom half thanks to a sacrifice fly from Kholton Goodlin, scoring Hunter Rhoades who singled and reached third on two throwing errors from starting pitcher Caleb Leasure.
The final two frames saw the Red Knights send 20 batters to the plate and 10 of them crossing home against Cline, Nick Chaney (one inning pitched) and Rhoades (tossed the seventh). Cline would end up taking the loss in just 1/3 of an inning pitched.
In the top of the sixth, Chris Parker ripped a one-out, two-run single with the bases loaded, then Miller followed suit with a two-run triple. Ryan Matyas brought him home on a ground out.
The Red Knights had 11 players bat in the seventh for another five-run frame — all coming with two outs. Parker and Evan Wolter delivered run-scoring base knocks, Matyas followed with a two-run single and Will Earley also drove in one with a base hit.
“Early on, we were chasing some pitches. They got to see (Patterson) a couple of times, then we figured it out and got more patient at the plate,” Perkins said.
On the other side of the mound, Leasure calmed down following a three-run first inning and went the distance.
“Caleb threw an excellent game. We kicked the ball around early in the game and kind of put him in a situation he shouldn’t have been in,” Perkins said. “He just kept battling all game long and threw a complete game.”
Leasure allowed the five runs (one earned) on 11 hits, three walks and struck out a pair.
During the bottom of the first with two away, Chaney collected an RBI infield single before Patterson cranked a two-run double.
The Red Knights plated two in the top of the second thanks Leasure’s two-run single. The Bears got a run back in the bottom of the third on another Patterson double.
“Cody had a great day at the plate,” Hayden said. “Since his last at-bat against Edison (on Tuesday), he’s been seeing the ball really well.
“We struggled at the end, or we hit balls right at them. They made nice some plays, too.”
Toronto: Tentatively hosts Youngstown East at noon on Saturday.
Oak Glen: Tentatively hosts Martins Ferry today.
Toronto 15, Oak Glen 5
Toronto 0-2-0 0-3-5 5 — 15 16 4
Oak Glen 3-0-1 0-1-0 0 — 5 11 5
TORONTO (8-1): Leasure (WP, CG, 5R (1ER), 11H, 2BB, 3K) and Earley. Bouscher 2S; Wiegand S; Parker S, D, 3RBIs; Miller 2S, 2RBIs; Wolter S, T, 3RBIs; Matyas S, 3RBIs; Reeves 3S, 2RBIs; Earley S, RBI; Leasure S, 2RBIs.
OAK GLEN (1-1): Co. Patterson (4 2/3IP, 5R (3ER), 5H, 4BB, 6K), Cline (LP, 1/3IP, 3R, 2H, 3BB, 0K), Chaney (2/3IP, 2R, 2H, 0BB, 1K), Rhoades (1IP, 5R, 7H, 1BB, 1K) and Ash. H. Patterson 3S; Bridges 3S; Chaney S, RBI; Co. Patterson 2D, 3RBIs; Rhoades S; Goodlin S, RBI.