Rummel won its first District 9-5A game Friday night over Shaw in a 13-9 game coach Nick Monica likened to a “roller coaster ride.”
The Raiders (15-8, 1-2) scored four runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to overcome a 7-5 deficit after they led 5-1 lead through four innings.
“I tell the kids all the time no matter what the score, leads don’t last long in this league,” Monica said.
It was Ashante Wheatley’s two-run double in the sixth that put the Raiders ahead to stay, 11-9. Wheatley had four rbis, three base hits and reached in all four plate appearances.
“We’ve been struggling at the plate lately and Ashante was tough all night,” Monica said. “You could see in that last at-bat he was committed to what we were trying to accomplish, and it paid off.
The game provided an unusually wild night at Kirsch-Rooney Stadium. It lasted 3 hours, 15 minutes, including an 18-minute lightning delay and saw Shaw coach Kirk Bullinger ejected for arguing a call on a play at the plate.
Rummel jumped on top 5-1, then saw Shaw (15-7, 2-2) score six runs in the fifth to take a 7-5 lead. Rummel scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth to regain the lead at 9-7.
Shaw answered by scoring twice in the top of the sixth, tying the game at 9 and setting the stage for Wheatley’s heroics.
Collin Ward also reached base four times for the Raiders, doubling, walking twice and starting the sixth-inning rally by reaching on an error.
“I’ve never been around a team that is a contagious with hitting as this group,” Monica said. “We needed to play with a sense of urgency tonight, because we had not won in district.”
Rummel jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first on a bases-loaded double by Collin Ward. Wetzel started the inning with a bad hop double past third. Spencer Veit reached on an error, and Chase Fourcade walked to load the bases.
Ward got behind 0-2 before fouling off three pitches. He drove the sixth pitch of the at-bat in the gap in right center, scoring all three runners.
LeBlanc ran into trouble in the third when Juwan Orticke and Brandon Guilliot began the inning with singles. But LeBlanc was able to minimize the damage, allowing only one run by retiring the next three hitters on two grounders and an infield pop-up.
The Raiders scored twice in the fourth without getting the ball out of the infield. Wheatley led off with an infield hit and he reached third and Quinn Datagnan first when Datagnan’s sacrifice attempt was thrown into short right field. Wetzel bunted for a hit to load the bases.
Willis was hit by a pitch to score Wheatley, and Veit’s grounder to shortstop scored Datagnan.
Before the rain and lightning started in the fifth, Shaw had scored four times to tie the game. Two walks and an error preceded a sacrifice fly by Caiden Reid that scored Lance Landry. When the throw from the outfield skipped past Rummel catcher Fourcade, LeBlanc backed up the play, but threw past first while attempting to catch Guilliot off the bag. Orticke then scored his second run.
Chris Dantin followed with a line drive triple to deep right center off relief pitcher Willis, scoring two and tying the game at 5 with only one out. Designated hitter Matt Keller worked the count to 3-1 before the umpires called time and sent the teams to safety. When play resumed Keller singled through the middle of the drawn-in infield and Shaw had its first lead of the night, 6-5.
Flettrich reached on an error and he and Keller each moved up a base on an error. Scott Ledet followed with a 10-pitch at-bat before he sent a fly ball to center that easily scored Keller, making it 7-5.
Rummel scored four times in the fifth with Wheatley’s single and a single by Veit cashing in with two hit batters and two walks. Shaw tied it at nine in the top of the sixth, on a single by Dantin.