|6/8/2018 10:15:00 AM|
Two days worth of baseball ends Highland's run
One thing the WIAA no doubt did not talk about much when they were deciding on the two year old pitch count rule was what happens to a pitching staff when a baseball game goes over two days.
The answer for the WIAA's standpoint is nothing. The answer for a baseball coach is scramble.
That is what coach Terry Cool and the Highland mounds staff was faced with when their Division 4 regional title game with Riverdale Wednesday was halted by rain in the fourth inning and had to be resumed Thursday.
That meant it was the end of the line for Mitchell Welsh who had exceeded the pitch count on Wednesday. It was too bad because after seeing seven in a row reach base he retired the next eight in a row before the rains came.
Welsh found another way to contribute. He rocked the ball out of the park twice for a pair of two run dingers. He finished the day 2x4, adding a single and a run scored.
The other run came when Paden Kosharek was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Highland coach Terry Cool did his shuffling and called on Grant Hying to take the ball and use his off speed stuff to keep Riverdale off guard. The plan worked as the first inning he struck out the first two batters and coaxed a fly ball to short for the third out.
Riverdale got a break the next inning when Michael Schafer hit a seeing eye double down the baseline and scored with two outs on a single by Cody Sperry. That made it 5-3 in the fifth.
Hying was lifted early in the seventh in favor of Drew Hennessey who did not have his best stuff. Riverdale expanded the lead and TJ Cool was called on to finish.
The Cardinals put together a last ditch effort in the bottom of the seventh. After a ground out Hennessey singled and Riverdale elected to pitch around the hot hitting Welsh. Conner Rush lined out to short, just missing a game tying single and after a nine pitch at bat, Spencer Linscheid went down on strikes.
Over the two day period the Cardinals stranded 14 runners.
"We had our chances," Cool said. "As it turns out the four early runs were too much to overcome when they tacked on more as the game went on."
Welsh was 3x4 with a pair of two run dingers while Hennessey and Hying both were 2x4. Hying contributed a double.
The game was the last in a Highland uniform for TJ Cool, Mitchell Welsh, Paden Kosharek and Ben Aide.
"They all played four years and helped keep Highland baseball successful."
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