Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

April 13, 2012

PREP BASEBALL: Raiders in extras

Northridge survives late Westview rally

EMMA — Northridge and Westview aren’t in the same conference when it comes to high school baseball. They don’t play in the same class when the state tournament comes around. But all that doesn’t mean there isn’t a rivalry when the two schools get together on the baseball diamond.

The Northridge Raiders scored five runs in the top of the eighth inning only to have the Westview Warriors rally for four runs in the bottom of the frame as the Raiders held on for a 7-6 victory Friday night at Westview.

“This is a big win for us,” Northridge coach Andrew Brabender said. “We have a lot of kids that go back and forth between the two communities. Judah Zickafoose plays for Westview, but he has played a lot of summer ball with kids on our team. We consider Westview to be a rival.”

“If this is a rivalry game for us, it’s exactly the kind of game we are looking for each year,” first-year Westview coach Jason Rahn said. “I saw a lot of fight from our kids and that is just what I wanted to see going into  our conference schedule.”

The game was a pitcher’s duel until the eighth inning. Northridge was leading 2-1 going into the sixth when Westview sophomore Tarrin Beachy belted a pitch over the fence in left field to tie the score and eventually force extra innings.

In the top of the eighth, the Raiders sent 11 batters to the plate. Nine reached base safely on one single, an error, four walks, two hit by pitches and one fielder’s choice.

“The new bats are making a difference,” Brabender said. “We are getting guys on base and having to bunt them over to score runs.”

The one hit by the Raiders was a single by junior Shannon Baker that scored freshman Sam Troyer and senior Austin Summy.

“This was a big win for us especially after the loss to Lakeland (2-1 on Wednesday),” Summy said. “We have lost some tight games, but tonight we found a way to pull this one out.

“We had a lot of energy in the eighth inning and confidence in each other that if you got on base someone was going to get you home,”

Westview found themselves trailing 7-2 going in the bottom half of the eighth.

The Warriors opened with four consecutive base hits. Sophomore Jamar Weaver ripped a double, Zickafoose followed with a single as did senior Luke Miller.

Weaver scored in Miller’s single before Beachy cleared the bases with a three-blast over the left field fence.

“Beachy has been hitting the ball all season,” Rahn said.

“Tonight he lifted the ball up and over the fence.”

The blasts were Beachy’s first two round-trippers of the season.

They may have helped in some way after his play on a tough chance at shortstop allowed Northridge’s first run in the top half of the inning.

“It was a tough play but one he said he should have made,” Rahn said.

“He could have gotten down on himself, but he showed me some things tonight.”

Raider senior Kyle Yoder was on the mound in the eighth and he shut the Warriors down after allowing Beachy to clear the bases. He fanned the next two hitters and got the final out on a grounder to junior Blake Fry at short following a conference with Brabender.

“I asked him if he was OK and told him I was still going with him,” the coach said. “We had all the confidence in him. He needed to have the right attitude in that spot.”

“My confidence was a little shaky after he gave up the home run, but I still knew he (Miller) could do it,” Summy said. “I wasn’t too worried.”

Northridge scored in the first on an RBI single by Fry and in the third on a run-scoring double by junior Alan Grusy.

Senior TJ Miller started for the Raiders, working five innings, striking out three and walking two.

“He is a three-year starter,” Brabender said.

“He is having some arm issues so we are keeping a close watch on him. He is on a four or five inning schedule. His pitch count was low and I probably let him go an inning longer that normal.”

Westview’s first run came in the third when Zickafoose scored on a single by Miller.

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