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WALKERTON â€” The John Glenn baseball team answered back from its first loss of the season with an eight-inning win in a doubleheader versus Rochester Saturday.
The Falcons succumbed 7-3 in the opener but battled back for a narrow 9-8 win in an extra-inning second game to earn the split.
â€śWe always play a spirited doubleheader with John Glenn,â€ť said Rochester baseball coach Bryan Hooker. â€śYear in and year out it seems like we split. Every season this is a good way to gauge our teams with this doubleheader. I hope we continue this for a long time.â€ť
The opener saw Rochesterâ€™s Cyrus Holland and Taylor Medina hit a pair of second-inning doubles to give the hosts a 1-0 lead. Glenn came right back with two hits of their own in the bottom half of the inning as Kyle Liedtky started with a double down the left field line and Cody Myer ripped a single to drive him in. Austin Bloss beat out a slow roller, and Drew McDonald followed with an infield hit, and Myer scored when the late throw to first sailed errant to give Glenn a 2-1 lead.
But the Zebrasâ€™ bats got to Glenn starter Tyler Niespodziany in the third as Carter Screeton, Tanner Hampton and Peyton Showley all recorded hits to load the bases. After Hollandâ€™s sacrifice fly scored Screeton, Medina reached on an error at short that scored Hampton, and Brandt Eytcheson hit a two-run double to put the home team back on top 5-2.
Rochester added two insurance runs in the fifth when Holland singles, Medina Walked, Eytcheson singled, and Sheldon Albright reached on a fielderâ€™s choice.
Glenn rallied in the fifth as Mark Einhorn singled, Justin Gierlowski was hit by a pitch and Liedtky singled, but it was too little, too late for the Falcons.
The second game saw a pair of big innings, one by each team to set the stage for the extra inning.
The Falcons had the first big-production inning in the bottom the second. Liedtky led off with a single, followed by a Niespodziany hit, and DH Andrew Holderbaum smacked a one-out double to drive in Liedtky.
Bloss reached on an error, and Drew McDonald scored Niespodziany and Holderbaum with a two-run double, followed by a single from Einhorn.
Justin Gierlowski and David Jaworkski were hit by pitches in quick succession, bringing Liedtky around again, and he drove in another run with a SAC fly to left. After Niespodziany walked, Cole Kaser was hit by a pitch, and Holderbaum tallied his second RBI of the inning with a single that drove in Jaworski to put Glenn ahead 8-1 before Niespodziany was thrown out at the plate.
The Zebras fired back in their half of the fourth with three straight singles before Jacob Howdeshell produced a ground rule double. Screeton drew a walk, and Tanner Hampton took Einhorn deep with a 360-foot grand slam to knot the score at 8-all before Cyrus Holland hit into a double play to retire the side.
Neither team scored again until Gierlowski led off the eighth with a double followed by a Jaworski single, Liedtky was intentionally walked to load the bags, and Kaser was hit by a pitch with one out to give Glenn the walk-off win.
Liedtky had three strikeouts and allowed no hits in three shutout innings relieving Mark Einhorn in the sixth. He moved to 2-0 on the young season after his season-opening start at Oregon-Davis last Monday.
â€śPitching was everything today in this wind,â€ť said Glenn coach John Nadolny. â€śThe first game, theirs was the best, but this second game we had Liedtky taking command.
â€śThat wind out there was crazy, and we told Kyle when he came in that he had to keep the ball below the knees, which he accomplished. I wasnâ€™t happy giving up that big lead, but sometimes after five games in a week the mental concentration takes a break. Hey, we regrouped, fought back and prevailed.â€ť
Rochester moves to 3-1 with the split, while Glenn is now 4-1. The Falcons travel to North Judson Tuesday.
â€˘ ROCHESTER 7-8, JOHN GLENN 3-9
Rochester: 014 020 0 â€” 7 11 2
Glenn: 020 010 0 â€” 3 8 1
Andrew Feldman (W, 1-0), Cyrus Holland (6; S); Tyler Niespodziany (L, 0-1), Michael Holderread (4).
2B: Peyton Showley (R), Holland (R), Taylor Medina (R), Brandt Eytchson (R)
Rochester: 101 600 00 â€” 8 12 4
Glenn 080 000 01 â€” 9 14 2
Hampton, Holland (5; L, 0-1); Mark Einhorn, Kyle Liedtky (6; W, 2-0).
2B: Justin Gierlowski (G) 2, Austin Bloss (G) 2, Drew McDonald (G), Andrew Holderbaum (G)
HR: Hampton (R)
Records: Rochester 3-1, Glenn 4-1.