What is fun baseball? Fun baseball is making a stunning comeback late in the ball game after being down 7-1, giving away five errors and and still win the game by a walk-off in the bottom ninth. That's what transpired Thursday night at the Light Capital Diamond as the Pipeliners beat out the Clearwater Outlaws 8-7 and improving their record to 4-2 (2-2 in league) of the year.
Pitcher Harry Park made his first start on the mound in his second season with the Pipeliners. In 5.3 innings, he pitched five strikeouts, walked five batters, gave away six hits and five runs. Austin Jentzsch took over as the reliever and lasted the whole game. Despite his struggles throwing in control, hitting batters by pitch and walking four, he bailed his way out after being close to getting yanked off the mound as he pitched three strikeouts that kept the Pipeliners in the game, and kept the Outlaws scoreless in the final three innings.
"Let's tip our hat to Austin Jentsch for coming in and throwing great relief balls," Head Coach Chris Dawson said. "Some of his runs weren't even his fault — great job to our pitchers. Just to be able to go by two, looking 7-1, and Austin looked like he had some innings where he had control issues. We almost pulled him at one point, but he fought through adversity."
After going scoreless for the first three innings and only settling for one in the bottom fourth, the Pipeliner offense finally got going in the bottom sixth led by Aaron Eshelman's two-run bomber. The Pipeliners trailed 7-3 during that period.
"Aaron has been trying to hit a home run," Dawson said. "He had the two on opening day that caught off the wall, and guys been giving him crap after that up and until now, and he finally barrels up a baseball and got it out the ballpark. Great for him, that's his first in his career."
McPherson collected four more runs in the bottom eighth. As the game tied, Tyler Brown was up at-bat as the pinch hitter and recorded a double in the bottom ninth, which set up a walk-off single by Rey Lozano to close out the game.
"He's just a walking double," Dawson said about Brown. "That dude has three or five doubles already this year, and he was born to hit. I didn't think twice. I just went with him when the bases were loaded, and he came through, especially down by two strikes. Two RBIs win you ball games, and it happened right there."
The Pipeliners will be on the road this weekend as they will take on the Wellington Heat on Friday, and The Kansas Cannons on Saturday. Both starting times will be at 7 p.m.
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