EATON TWP. — Never count out Elyria Catholic.
Down all game, the Panthers tied the score in the sixth inning and scored the game-winning run in the top of the seventh to defeat Midview 5-4 in West Shore Conference action.
Midview jumped on Elyria Catholic starting pitcher Joey Begany for a run in the first inning and three in the second to take a 4-0 lead, but was unable to add to it.
Midview’s Cole Franks blasted a two-run triple to score Dylan Brister and Zach Nilges, before scoring on a throwing error by catcher Norbert Velez in the second inning. The Middies scored the game’s first run on a Zac Wilson RBI single that scored Tyler Lienerth, who doubled.
Begany settled in after that and allowed just two hits through the last four innings, finishing with 119 pitches. He also struck out nine as he improved to 3-1.
“I owed it to myself to finish it,” Begany said. “The team relies on me to pitch these big games. My last couple outings I didn’t do it. I came in today and said no matter what happens, I’m going to try and go the whole game and I did it.
“When it was 4-0, I told myself they’re not scoring again, and they didn’t. It was a really weird day. In the beginning, everything was working, but they were hitting it. As the game went on, my fastball was the only thing working and then the fourth inning my curveball started picking up so I started throwing that a lot.”
The Panthers (10-6, 3-5) finally scored a pair of runs in the fifth inning on two wild pitches by Midview starter Dylan Brister, who had pitched four scoreless innings, while giving up just three hits.
Lukas Redmond and Begany came home on the wild tosses that squirted away from catcher Travis Miller.
“We had a little bit of sloppy play, but we hung in there,” EC coach Bruce Lisicky said. “We kept battling and battling. We had good approaches at the plate. You’re trying to be aggressive and patient at the same time.”
Angelo Cruz provided the big hit in the sixth inning with an RBI single that scored Sean Darmafall, who led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on an error by center fielder Brendan Matcham.
“I was just trying to put the ball in play,” Cruz said. “The field conditions weren’t the best so I just needed to put the ball in play and make things happen.”
Cruz then scored on a wild pitch by Miller, who came on to strike out Colt Schuler with the bases loaded in the fifth inning, tying the game at 4.
Cruz brought in the winning run in the top of the seventh inning on a groundout to third, scoring Brian Mahilo, who had drawn a one-out walk.
“This is like a championship game every time we play Midview,” Cruz said.
“They got us the first game. We knew we had to come out here and do what we needed to do and we ended up doing it and got a big win.”
Midview was missing Cody Callaway, who is preparing for the North-South football game this weekend in Dayton.
He won’t be back until Monday, leaving Midview coach Scott Jaloweic shorthanded.
“I had nobody left today,” Jaloweic said.
“We knew that going in. We went with two sophomores (Brister and Miller) and we tried to get them as many innings as we could and try to ham-and-egg it and get through this game.”
Contact Steve Walker at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.