AKRON — A wintry mix of rain and sleet prevented the second game of Saturday’s scheduled doubleheader between Tippecanoe Valley and visiting John Glenn from taking place. The two teams did battle through a pretty epic nine-inning affair in Akron, however.
In the end, the Falcons outlasted their hosts with two runs in the top of the ninth for a 6-4 win Saturday.
“We didn’t want the field to get torn up anymore. Our athletic director came out; she had a lot to do with that decision. You can see the field is a little bit of a mess,” explained Valley head coach Greg Prater.
“I’m proud of my team, proud of the guys. They’re having fun. That’s what it’s all about.”
A dropped third strike and a throwing error from the catcher put Nathan Marshman on first for Glenn, Cooper Gean drew a walk from Lucas Walters, and Jack Vukovits lined a two-out hit into right to score the go-ahead. Colin Stephens outlasted Walters in an eight-pitch at-bat, walking the bases loaded, and Braxton Davis took over on the hill, hitting a batsman for the Falcons’ second run of the inning before settling in for the final out.
Walters reached on an infield error in the bottom half of the inning but was ultimately left stranded for Valley.
“We had quite a few guys here with us today; I think I had eight guys on the bench. We had planned on using a lot of different pitching because we’ve got conference games coming Monday and Wednesday, so my starters that normally throw, they weren’t playing as much today,” explained Prater. “My catcher, he had a sore arm, so we got him out of there. I had a freshman catcher in there for awhile there, and he held his own there for a little bit. He made some mistakes here and there, but, again, it was a game that we were trying to save arms for. We just didn’t come up on top.”
Walters took the pitching loss, lasting two innings, giving up three runs, only one earned, off two hits and three walks with four strikeouts.
Jake Taylor got the win for Glenn, pitching three no-hit innings while walking two and striking out three for one Valley run.
The Vikings hit the ball pretty well, collecting 10 hits against Glenn’s pitching staff of three. Walters, Tucker Shull and Tanner Trippiedi each finished with two hits apiece to lead Valley at the plate. Trippiedi and Drake Montelongo each drove in a run for the home team.
“I think the boys came out and hit the ball pretty well. They were getting down in the count some, but yet they were still battling and making sure the ball got put in play,” Prater said. “Baserunning is a problem. It seems to be our problem. We are averaging one or two errors on the bases every game. We’ve got to fix that. It’s still early in the year. Maybe by the end we’ll have it mastered.”
Valley slips to 7-3 overall. The Vikings are unbeaten in Three Rivers Conference play at 3-0 and scheduled to play another 3-0 TRC team in Manchester at home Monday.