By Rob Potter
JEFFERSONVILLE April 8, 2003 A high school baseball team rallying in the bottom of the seventh inning to win a game is not that unusual.
However, the way in which Sullivan West defeated visiting Liberty last Thursday in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV game was a bit strange.
With the score knotted at 2-2 and two runners on base with one out in the bottom of the seventh, the umpires called a balk on Liberty pitcher Ashton Richards. That allowed SWs Bill Nordenhold to jog down the line from third base and cross home plate, giving the Bulldogs a 3-2 victory.
I had never seen a balk win a game before this season, SW Coach Kurt Scheibe, Jr. said. Now its the second time this year. One of our pitchers did it in one of our scrimmages.
Down 2-0 entering the bottom of the seventh, SW (1-0, 1-0 Division IV) wasted little time in putting together a rally. Everett Saul and Matt Berger hit back-to-back singles to begin the frame. The next batter, Ryan Taylor, drew a walk from Richards to load the bases with no outs.
Mike Washington then singled to score Saul. But Berger was tagged out at the plate by catcher Joe Colacurcio after right fielder Dan Ratner made a fine throw to home.
With runners on second and third and one out, Joe Meyer then singled to center field. Meyers hit allowed Taylor to score the tying run.
The next batter, Ed Raum, was at the plate when Richards balked home Nordenhold, who had entered the game as pinch-runner for Washington.
Berger, who picked up the victory on the mound by pitching scoreless sixth and seventh innings in relief of Saul, led the Bulldog offense. The sophomore was 3-for-3 in his varsity debut.
I just wanted to get some hits and make some plays, Berger said. I wanted to do whatever I could to help the team.
Meyer went 2-for-3 for the Bulldogs.
Everett Saul pitched five strong innings today, Scheibe said. And defensively we played pretty well.
Scheibe was also quick to praise the way the Indians played.
Ashton Richards pitched an excellent game, he said.
Liberty (0-1, 0-1 Division IV) scored both of its runs in the fourth inning when Jason Garrett ripped a stand-up double to left center field that allowed Matt Burns and Corey Pazzalia to cross home plate.