Indians earn walk-off win over Elks
Special to the Whig
— North East built a three-run lead through five innings Thursday against visiting Elkton only to see it evaporate over the next two frames as the Golden Elks tied the contest in the seventh.
The Indians continued to battle, taking advantage of a pair of Elkton miscues in the bottom of the seventh inning to escape with a 4-3 victory in non-divisional baseball action.
“Keep battling. That’s what I keep stressing to the kids. The game is not over until the last out is made. That’s what they did. They’ve come a long way since Day One,” North East coach Kevin Brown said. “I feel like we’re playing a little bit better here going towards the end of the season and the playoff situation. We still have room for improvement.”
With the score at 3-3, the Indians’ Patrick O’Brien led of the final frame with a deep fly to left center field that was dropped. He then hustled on the play to reach second base.
After a balk that moved O’Brien to third, Eric Steele hit a hard ground ball to short, but the ball was misplayed, allowing O’Brien to score and give the Indians the victory.
“They made mistakes, and we had to jump on it. Pat (O’Brien) took second,” North East’s Colt Price said. “He wasn’t jogging along the line. It was the right thing to do, and Eric came up next
and got the ‘W.’”
After a scoreless opening two and half innings, the Indians took the lead in the bottom of the third with one run. Jack Richardson led off with a single, stole second and scored on Peyton Hoskins’ double to left.
North East (7-6) added one run to its lead in the fourth when Chase Hollister scored on a wild pitch. The Indians then made it 3-0 in the fifth when O’Brien scored from second on a Tyler Robinson fielder’s choice.
Nick Gregson started Elkton’s rally when he led off the sixth with a single and later scored on a two-base throwing error. Solomon Harris then made it a onerun game at 3-2 when he scored on a Dakota Hodgson single.
Elkton (5-10) continued to rally in the seventh inning when Kyle Spencer led off the frame with a double to left and, after a balk that moved him to third, scored on Nate Bakeoven’s single to tie the game.
With the win, the Indians grab an all-important victory over a county foe and establish some momentum as it heads into the season’s final stretch.
“It feels really good. We were 0-4 against everybody else [in the county]. It feels good to finally get a win and move forward into the playoffs,” O’Brien said. “I think it’s really good because we were hitting the ball hard. We have to continue that in the playoffs.
“Rising Sun is next, and it’s always a big game. Hopefully it continues into that.”