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Lutheran West 5, Columbia 4
By Mark Fenske  | staff
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

ROCKY RIVER --  A day after playing their worst game of the year out at Black River, LW responded by playing arguably their best game of the year last night against Columbia in their first must win game of the year.  LW overcame a bizarre ruling by the home plate umpire that cost them four runs in the fifth thanks to clutch hitting and dominant pitching. 

Senior Zach Hausmann came through with a two-strike, two-out, RBI double down the left field line to score senior Justin Chislow all the way from first base and break the 4-4 tie in the bottom of the seventh inning.  Chislow, who had reached on a one-out walk, was running on the 2-2 pitch, despite the left handed pitcher, Zach Bican, on the mound.  Hausmann drilled the pitch into the corner and Chislow, who hesitated at second to find the ball and make sure it wasn’t caught, accelerated past third and scored easily with a dive at the plate. 

The game should not have even been in doubt.  Columbia scored all of its runs in the fifth inning.  To that point, senior starter Billy Valletto was dominant, allowing no hits through the first four innings.  A one out walk started the problems, as free passes often do.  After a single down the left field line just out of reach of senior Cal Thomay at third, Valletto fielded a sacrifice bunt.  The play was supposed to go to third to get the lead runner, but Valletto threw to first with the idea of getting the sure out.  Unfortunately he threw into the runner and senior first baseman Ty Hoy had no chance to catch it when the throw hit the runner in the back.  Now Valletto was in a jam.  One out and bases loaded.  

On the first pitch, the next hitter, Tommy Petras, bunted the ball out in front of home plate.  Everyone was surprised.  After all, who does a safety squeeze with a force out at the plate?  It might have worked, except the runner on third didn’t get a good jump.  Top that off with the bunt only going about three feet out in front of the plate and LW catcher Zach Hausmann’s cat like reflexes and you have the unorthodox 2-3 double play.  Hausmann grabbed the ball, stepped on home and threw to first in plenty of time to complete the double play and end the inning with no runs scored.  

Both teams came off the field expecting the inning to be over.  At that point, the Columbia first base coach asked the umpire if the ball was in fair territory pointing to a divot in the sand just outside of the line.  Without the aid of video replay, there is no way to know whether the divot in the sand was from the ball or someone’s footstep, but somehow the umpire decided that the ball was foul after the play and voided the inning ending double play.  As would be expected, everyone affiliated with LW was unhappy, but there was nothing they could do.  LW had to go back out and get the outs again. 

As always seems to happen, Columbia scored on an ground out to cut the lead to 2-1, then a bases loaded triple two batters later plated three to put Columbia up 4-2.  

LW wouldn’t be denied, scoring twice in the bottom of the inning on a double by Thomay and a sacrifice fly from senior Ryan Jones to retie the score 4-4 to set up Hausmann’s heroics in the bottom of the seventh.
Wed 3/31/10
L, 6-2
Thu 4/1/10
W, 12-2
Tue 4/6/10
W, 9-8
Wed 4/7/10
W, 12-2
Thu 4/8/10
L, 7-0
Sat 4/10/10
L, 7-6
Sat 4/10/10
W, 12-1
Mon 4/12/10
L, 5-3
Tue 4/13/10
W, 14-0
Wed 4/14/10
W, 19-10
Mon 4/19/10
L, 10-6
Tue 4/20/10
W, 5-4
Wed 4/21/10
L, 8-6
Fri 4/23/10
W, 10-8
Tue 4/27/10
W, 13-6

Lutheran West
3850 Linden Road
Rocky River, Ohio 44116-4099

Phone: 440.333.1660
Fax: 440.333.1729

Acts 3:6-8 I don’t have much, but what I have I give to you:  In the name of Jesus-Walk!  The man jumped up leaping, dancing and praising God!