Good baseball teams take advantage of the breaks other teams open the door for.
Concord did just that Thursday night against Goshen, cashing in four fourth-inning Goshen errors for four runs en route to a 9-7 win over the Redskins in an NLC contest at Phend Field.
Concord coach Jim Treadway was pleased with the way his young team hit the ball: The Minutemen (6-6 overall, 3-2 NLC) pounded out nine hits.
But Treadway was especially pleased with the pitching performance he got from sophomore Nick DeFreese, who threw 111 pitches over 61/3 innings to earn the win.
“That’s the longest he’s gone for us,” Treadway said.
DeFreese said he threw 136 pitches last year in a J.V. contest and wanted to go the distance on Thursday, but began to get some pitches up. He yielded to Jake Stauffer, who got the final two outs to pick up a save.
“This was a team win,” DeFreese said. He fanned nine, getting good movement from both his slider and split-fingered fastball. “I started to hit some guys late, though,” he added.
Concord got on the scoreboard first on this chilly, blustery spring day. Cain Crowley drew a one-out walk, was sacrificed to second by Mason Eldridge, and scored on an RBI single by Rob Frutig.
The Redskins tied it in the bottom of the third on a booming solo homer to straightaway center by Sylas Buller.
But the Minutemen wasted no time retaking the lead in the top of the fourth, sending eight batters to the plate in the frame with the aforementioned four runs on four Goshen errors.
Concord sophomore starter Nick DeFreese kept the Goshen hitters off-balance most of the afternoon. But the Redskins strung together some hits in the bottom of the fifth to scratch back to within two at 5-3. Austin Henke led off with a double and moved to third on a balk. With one out, Henke scored on a Buller groundout. Travis Pickard reached on an infield single, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Luke Harris RBI single.
The Redskins were threatening to put even more runs on the board, and had the potential tying runs on with two outs. But a strikeout short-circuited the rally.
Concord picked up an insurance run in the top of the sixth. With one out, DeFreece singled, and a Mark Kotva double put runners at second and third. DeFreese came home onj a Dakota Simon groundout.
The Minutemen broke it open with three more runs in the top of the seventh – all with two outs. Preston Miller was hit by a pitch; Frutig drew a walk; and Taylor Miller plated both runners with a double.
DeFreese then helped himself again with the bat, crushing an RBI double off the left field fence.
But the Redskins rallied in the bottom of the frame and had the tying run at the plate when the game ended on a strikeout.
Goshen coach Hal Farmwald said his team needs to keep battling as it has been.
“I still like our team,” Farmwald said. “I saw some good things out there tonight.”
The Redskins’ 10 hits and a good relief appearance by Hunter Rivera were among the positives.
Goshen returns to action tonight with an NLC contest on the road at Wawasee. Concord hosts Warsaw.
Concord 9, Goshen 7
Concord 010 401 3 — 9 9 1
Goshen 001 020 4 — 7 10 5
Pitching: (Concord) Nick DeFreese (W), Jake Stauffer (S). (Goshen) Jorge Pizana (L), Hunter Rivera. Jake Jesse.
Hitting: (Concord) DeFreese 2-for-4, run scored, RBI; Matt Kotva 2-for-4, RBI. (Goshen) Luke Harris 3-for-4, run scored, RBI; Kyle Taylor 2-for-4, run scored, RBI; Austin Henke 2-for-3, run scored.
Records: Concord 6-6, 3-2 NLC; Goshen 4-11, 0-5.