By GREG KEIM firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — GOSHEN — The Goshen Redskins and Concord Minutemen, both in need of an NLC win, squared off Wednesday in high school baseball at Phend Field in Goshen.
Concord with some key pitching from senior Matt Williams and key hitting from classmate Nick DeFreese emerged with an 8-4 victory.
“Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good,” Concord coach Jim Treadway said. “We were both in need a conference win. It feels good to get one. We had been so banged up. We have had five starters out. I keep telling people when we get all our players back we are going to be a team to contend with.”
Goshen was coming off a 17-inning marathon loss Monday at Plymouth. Goshen Athletic Director Larry Kissinger reported he got an e-mail from Jon Scott at Plymouth informing him the game was the 10th longest in IHSAA history. The Redskins scored a run in the top of the 17th only to give up two in the bottom of the frame in the heartbreaking 3-2 loss.
Wednesday’s game was similar in the fact Goshen took a 4-3 lead after five innings only to have the Minutemen score two in the top of the sixth and add three more in the top of the seventh.
“We have been really close to two wins this week,” first-year Goshen coach josh Keister said. “We just have not been able to get the job done. The kids still believe in what we are trying to do and are putting in the effort.”
Treadway was impressed by what he saw from the Redskins.
“Josh is doing wonderful things with his team,” the coach said. “He is playing a lot of youngsters. We were playing seniors and had trouble beating them.”
Junior Adam Pearson got the start on the mound for the Redskins after senior Deric Haynes hurled seven innings and classmate Jorge Pizana 9 2/3 in the Plymouth contest.
“Our pitching rotation was set so Monday’s game didn’t bother it tonight, but it will later in the week,” Keister said.
Pearson pitched into the seventh inning, striking out two and walking two.
“Adam pitched well enough to win,” Keister said.
Williams started for the Minutemen. He hurled four innings, fanning five and walking two.
“He throws strikes and keeps the ball down,” Treadway said. “He is not going to overpower you.”
Concord regained the lead in the sixth on a single by senior Drew Wysong that scored senior Brett Neveraski and sophomore Jason Grooms with two outs.
“It was kind of a freak hit as the ball bounced off the plate and over the third baseman’s head,” Keister said.”If we field the ball and get an out we are going into the seventh in a completely different situation.”
Grooms and sophomore Luke Simon were players that Treadway moved up from the JV.
“Both of them played well,” the coach said.
Simon reached base twice after being hit by pitches and scored both times. Grooms slapped run-scoring singles in the second and fourth innings.
The Minutemen are a running team, stealing five bases and advancing three other times on either wild pitches or passed balls.
“We are a hit-and-run team that needs to take the extra bases,” Treadway said. “Pearson did a nice job early of keeping us off balance.”
The Redskins had seven hits in the contests. Junior Tyler Born ripped a three-run double on a 3-2 pitch in the third and singled in the fifth. Sophomore James Paetkau had two singles, senior DJ Ambrose, Hayes and sophomore Tito Garcia each one. Garcia also had an RBI.
“This is probably the best we have swung that bats,” Keister said. “Born had a big hit. He hit the ball well at the start of the season and then went into a little slump. Now he looks like he is ready to come out of it.”
Ambrose caught all seven innings of the game after catching all 17 on Monday.
Concord 010 112 3 — 8-8-0
Goshen 003 010 0 — 4-7-1
Pitching: (Concord) Matt Williams five strikeouts, two walks. Nick DeFreese (W) one strikeout, three walks. Zack Stauffer. (Goshen) Adam Pearson (1-3) two strikeouts, two walks. Trevor Weldy.
Hitting: (Concord) DeFreese double, three RBI; Brett Neveraski three singles, three runs; Jason Grooms two singles, two RBI; Drew Wysong single, RBI; Luke Simon two runs. (Goshen) Tyler Born double, single, three RBI; James Paetkau two singles, DJ Ambrose single, run; Tito Garcia single, RBI; Deric Haynes single, RBI; Jorge Pizana two runs.
Records: Goshen (1-12, 0-5 NLC) at Wawasee Friday. Concord (4-7, 1-3) hosts Warsaw Friday.
JV score: Concord won 6-3. (Concord: Jake Mochamer winning pitcher, Alejandro Heredia two RBI, D’Yante Watson two runs. Goshen: Chase Knoblock pitched, Chava Garcia two hits, two RBI; Ryan Jacobs two hits).
Follow sports reporter Greg Keim on twitter @gkeim_TGN.