McDERMOTT — The rainy weather, nor the Whiteoak Wildcats could stop the Northwest Mohawks on Saturday afternoon, as Northwest defeated Whiteoak 9-8.
The rain began to fall just after the Wildcats were put-out in order to start the game, and never quit.
“I liked the way our guys battled,” Northwest baseball coach J.M. Storer said. “We fought back, and had the lead early and gave it up, but we persevered and pushed through it and was able to score some runs there in the last bottom-half, and win it.”
Both teams were held scoreless after the first inning, but Whiteoak would get two runs in the second inning to take a 2-0 lead over the Mohawks. Northwest threatened to score in their half of the second, as Will Gillette found himself on third base with only one out. However, the next two Northwest batters would fall victim of the strikeout to end the inning.
The Mohawks would find a way to score in the third inning, after sending the Wildcats down in order.
Northwest evened the score in the third inning, 2-2, after Mason Campbell and Billy Murphy both scored.
The fourth inning would be just as successful for the Mohawks, as the pitching by Garrett Swayne sent the Wildcats back to the dugout in a three-up, three-down inning.
The tied game would be no more in the bottom of the fourth, as the Mohawks took a 4-2 lead over the Wildcats, thanks to scores by Swayne and Aaron Maddy.
Whiteoak would continue to struggle from the plate, as they were held scoreless again in the fifth and sixth innings. The Wildcats threatened in the sixth, having runners on second and third, before a fly-ball to center field would end the top of the sixth inning for the Wildcats.
Northwest held onto a 6-2 lead as the game ventured into the seventh inning.
Ahead by four runs, and only needing three outs to finish out the game, the Mohawks looked like they would pick up a win without needing to bat in the seventh inning.
Whiteoak refused to give away a win to Northwest though, as they rallied to score six runs in top half of the seventh inning, eliminating a 6-2 lead by the Mohawks, to take a two-run lead over Northwest, 8-6.
Stunned with the Whiteoak rally in the top of the seventh, Northwest now faced a two-run deficit and only three outs left before possibly losing the game.
Wyatt Litteral and Zach Smith started the bottom of the seventh with each getting a walk, which put runners on first and second for the Mohawks, and no outs recorded.
Gillette came up next and fired a single to the outfield to load the bases.
Maddy drove in Litteral to cut the Whiteoak lead to a single run, 8-7.
Swayne then worked a full count into a walk to bring in Smith to tie the game 8-8.
With no outs in the bottom of the seventh, and the bases loaded, sophomore Mason Campbell came to the plate in a clutch situation. The young Mohawk took four straight balls to draw a walk, and watched as the winning run crossed the plate.
“Garrett Swayne pitched a heck of a game,” Storer said. “He came out and struggled in the last inning, so we went to Aaron Maddy. I think he had some difficulty with the mound, but we then brought in Austin Mundhenk and he was able to get us out of the inning.”
As the rain continued to fall at Hegarty Field at Northwest High School, the mound became an issue for every pitcher. As a result of the increased difficulty with the field conditions, the umpires canceled the second game of the planned double-header.
Storer was happy with his hitters, despite only having two hits in the game.
“We took good approaches at the plate,” Storer said. “I was proud of that.”
Storer said after his squad was able to get runners on base, good things began to happen.
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.