For those of you who didn’t go to the second night of the Wabash baseball sectional you missed out on two of the most exciting games played in recent memory. Northfield and Wabash locked horns in game one with the Norse scoring three runs the last inning for a 5-4 comeback win over the Apaches, while game two was a ten inning marathon between Manchester and Oak Hill that the Squires won 15-13.
Not only did those of us there get to witness two great games, Manchester pitcher Connor Mclaughlin stuck out 21 batters to tie for the 5th most strike outs in a game in Indiana high school baseball history. McLaughlin threw an amazing 200 pitches in the game.
In game one the Apaches would take early control, scoring two runs in the top of the second. Shea Beauchamp would walk and was followed by Thomas McHaney being hit by a pitch. Jordan Floor would then double home Beauchamp and Roger Davis would drive in McHaney, 2-0.
In the fourth Beauchamp would single and take second on a Norse error. McHaney sacrificed Beauchamp to third and Floor would drive home his second rbi with a single, 3-0.
The Apaches kept the heat on Norse pitcher Ryan Keaffaber in the fifth. Kyle Kelsheimer drew a walk and was moved to second by Landon Cole. Andrew Shepherd would single home Kelsheimer to increase the Apache lead to 4-0. In the bottom of the inning the Norse would get on the board. Adam Roser got things started with a walk, then Tanner Chamberlain reached on an error. Ryan Keaffaber would then single to load the bases and leave it to Joseph Ross, who laced a two rbi single to cut the lead in half, 4-2.
The Norse would hold the Apaches for two more innings and had one more shot to make things happen. Adam Roser got it started with a double and was followed by a Tanner Chamberlain single to put runners on first and third. Andy Roser then hit a grounder to short, scoring his brother to make it 4-3 and reaching safely. Ryan Keaffaber then drilled a shot to the right center field fence, scoring Chamberlain and Roser as he raced home from first to cap off the thrilling 5-4 comeback win.
In game two the Squires were in a rematch with Oak Hill and seeking revenge from an earlier season 7-0 loss to the Eagles.
Manchester wasted no time getting on the board against Oak Hill this time. In the top of the first the Squires would score two runs and force the Eagles to play catch up right away. Payton Sorg would start with a single and was moved to second by Caleb Thomas. Connor Mclaughlin would lay down a perfect bunt to put runners on first and third. Jurgin Cripe would drive in the first run on a fielders choice and was followed by a Logan Brunn single to put the Squires up 2-0. Oak Hill would come right back in the bottom of the inning and score two and it was 2-2 after one.
In the second the Squires would tack on two more. Jim Sainsbury singles and was brought home by a Payton Sorg single, 3-2. Caleb Thomas would then single, driving in a run to make it 4-2. Oak Hill would answer with two and it was 4-4 after two.
The Squire bats kept hot in the third. Logan Brunn doubled and Jim Sainsbury was hit by a pitch. Cody Harlan would lay down a bunt with everyone safe. Justin Lewis would then single home two to make it 6-4. Payton Sorg would single in a run and the Squires led 7-4.
In the fourth the Squires would open it up. Connor Mclaughlin singled and was followed by a Jurgin Cripe single. Logan Brunn singles to load the bases and then the Squires scored ona wild pitch, 8-4. Cody Harlan would then triple home two runs and the Squires were up 10-4.
Oak Hill would plate a run in the fifth and it was 10-5 heading for the seventh.
Caleb thomas would walk and was brought home on a Connor McLaughlin double, 11-5. The Squires were cruising when Oak Hill would erupt, scoring six runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the score and send the game to extra innings.
In the eighth the Squires would go up again. Jim Sainsbury singled and was followed by a Justin Lewis bunt single. Grant Schuler walked to load the bases and again the Squires scored on a wild pitch, 12-11. After a Sorg walk Caleb Thomas hit a fly ball deep enough to score a run and Manchester led 13-11. Oak Hill would walk and then hit two singles to make it 13-12 and then squeezed home the tying run to force a ninth inning.
Neither team would score in the ninth, but Connor Mclaughlin recorded hit 20th strike out during the inning.
With one out in the tenth, Justin Lewis drilled a shot past the left fielder and was sliding in to third when the fielder dropped the ball. Lewis popped back up and raced for home to score the Squires 14th run. Grant Schuler would then single and was followed by a Payton Sorg walk. Caleb Thomas singled to load the bases and Connor Mclaughlin helped himself, singling home a run to make it 15-13. Mclaughlin would get the Eagles in order in the 10th, forcing a ground out on his 200th pitch to close out the exciting 10 inning marathon.