Paden City scores 7-6 win on Knights
For the first time in many years, Paden City and Tyler Consolidated met on the baseball diamond and rekindled a rivalry from the past.
Ever since the teams appeared on the other’s schedule, there had been talk and excitement about the matchup between the aforementioned teams.
The game was not disappointment.
After the Silver Knights tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Wildcats were able to plate a run in the top of the extra eighth inning to win 7-6 in dramatic fashion.
“It was nice to go out there and play again,” said veteran Head Coach Brent Croasmun. “It’s been a few years since we’ve been out there. We’ve had some good baseball games there and that was another one at 7-6. Maybe that’s going to pay off in the long run by playing some close games early in the season. Maybe it’ll put us in that situation where we won’t panic when we play for when it really counts.”
“It was probably a game that should have happened years ago,” added new Tyler Consolidated Head Coach Scott Wall.
Michael Cochran started scoring off in the first inning to give the Silver Knights a quick 1-0 lead.
Paden City would answer back in the third.
After Ryan Thoburn was awarded first after being hit by a pitch, Wes Cosper took the first pitch he saw from Zach Perkey and crushed it over the fence in left field to put the Wildcats on top 2-1.
Later in the inning, Ricky Wright added a score after reaching on a single and stealing his way around the base paths.
In the bottom of the inning, Perkey and Zack Minger then took control with strong hitting and put the Knights in position to tie. A big hit by Brandon Grimes brought both runners in to make the score 3-3. Garrett Amos gave the Knights the lead in the fifth when he batted in Perkey.
Paden City wouldn’t quit, however, and plated Chaz Heasley and Josh Bennett in the sixth. Another big hit by Cosper in the seventh put him in scoring position and Wright followed by hitting him in.
With a 6-4 lead and getting the first out in the bottom of the inning, Paden City was sitting in good position until Tyler Consolidated reached the meat of their order.
With a man on, Minger took a hanging pitch and belted it over the fence in centerfield tying the game at 6-6 and force the extra inning.
While it gave the Silver Knights a second wind, it was short lived. After a strong 15-strikeout performance on the mound by Perkey, Minger came on in relief to face the top of the Wildcats’ lineup. While he was throwing strong, Thoburn was still able to reach base safely and circle around to score the game-winning run.
Cosper finished 4-5 with home run, a double, two RBIs and scored two runs. Wright went 3-5 with a run and an RBI.
The Paden City pitching was strong for the first game as Thoburn threw for the first four innings and punched out five. Malakai Anderson picked up the win pitching the bottom half while striking out six in the process.
“We got pretty good pitching from Thoburn and Anderson out there,” said Croasmun. “They hung a couple of pitches and made a couple of mistakes, but in the game as a whole I thought they did a real nice job pitching. We left some runners on base. We haven’t been getting real timely hits like we need to compete and win a lot of games this year.”
On the offensive scoreline for the Silver Knights, Perkey finished 2-4 with two runs attempting to help his cause on the mound.
“He may have single-handedly kept us in that game,” said first-year Head Coach Scott Wall. “If he hadn’t been pitching as well as he did, that game gets away from us probably in the second or third inning.”
Minger finished strong as well with the bat hitting 3-4 with two RBIs and two runs, but was credited as the losing pitcher.
“That’s the worst part about it,” said Wall. “Minger kept that game going for us and then we brought him in for relief. Unfortunately he got credit for the loss.”
“Perkey is an excellent baseball player and he pitched a strong seven innings for them. He’s a big left-hander that got the ball over the plate,” said Croasmun of the Silver Knights’ ace.
“I think their pitching staff only walked one batter, so we had to earn everything we got. We only saw Minger for one inning, but he also got the home run. That was a mistake on our part. We hung a ball up there and Minger did what he was supposed to do and drove it out of the ball park. But we didn’t panic and scored a run in the top of the eighth.”
Coach Wall mentioned that team chemistry was also an important feature in the Paden City ball club.
“They’re a veteran ball club. They’re coming back with a bunch of returning guys on the team that was very good and won 22 games last year,” said Wall.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game. They’re going to be a tough out all season long. I don’t think our guys know how good Paden City is. Their guys have played together a long time. They know how to win.”
The two schools located just a few miles apart will meet once again, this time in Paden City on Wednesday, April 8.