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Columbia 14, Lutheran West 13
By Mark Fenske  | staff
Wednesday, April 17, 2019   |  box score

ROCKY RIVER --  Columbia 14, LW 13

All things considered, the game was very even.  Both teams had 13 hits. Columbia stranded 12 runners, LW 11. Both pitching staffs walked 10 batters.  Columbia committed 6 errors; LW, 4. Each team allowed 10 earned runs.

Truly, however, the difference in the game occurred in the two halves of the sixth inning.  Working in the top of the sixth with a  13-9 lead, Lutheran West sophomore pitcher Zach Hammer-Huber (L, 1-1) walked the #6 and #7 hitters in the Columbia lineup to start the inning.  A passed ball and a  single through the right side scored those two hitters and closed the gap to 13-11.  But the real damage happened when the next batter hit a double play ground ball to third.  Freshman Ed Ramos fielded it cleanly then threw low to second.  Not only was junior second baseman Ryan Szczepinski unable to turn the double play, he was unable to even get the out at second.  Both runners would score later in the inning to tie the game.

Contrast that with the bottom of the inning, when Lutheran West loaded the bases with one out on two walks and a single.  Junior Hunter Albers smashed a ground ball to short stop.  Columbia turned the double play on a highly contested call at first base to get out of the inning with the score tied at 13. 

Columbia then pushed across the winning run with a two-out single in the seventh from their #9 hitter in the growing gloom brought on by the setting sun.  By the time the Longhorns got up for their last raps, darkness had descended on the field.  Instead of suspending the game and allowing the final inning to be played in normal conditions, the umpires decided to play on.

Senior John Smolik got a base hit to start the seventh but then got picked off first on a questionable move from the pitcher who feigned pitching from the windup, then stepped back as Smolik took a step to second base.  The footwork in the move was perfectly legal, but careful observers noted an upward movement of the glove simulating the start of a pitch before the pitcher’s right foot stepped back.  Needless to say. it was a difficult call to expect the home plate umpire to make in midst of the gathering darkness.

The home plate umpire then proceeded to punch out the next two Lutheran West hitters on called strike threes on pitches that the LW’s hitters claim were well out of the zone.  No one really knows if the pitches were strikes or not however, since no one other than the hitter and catcher could see the ball by the time the game ended.
Tue 3/26
W, 5-3
Wed 3/27
L, 22-6
Thu 3/28
L, 21-1
Mon 4/1
Tue 4/2
W, 5-3
Wed 4/3
W, 9-8
Thu 4/4
L, 9-2
Mon 4/8
W, 20-1
Tue 4/9
W, 10-1
Thu 4/11
W, 5-0
Fri 4/12
W, 11-9
Mon 4/15
Tue 4/16
L, 4-3
Wed 4/17
L, 14-13
Thu 4/18
L, 7-6
Tue 4/23
W, 15-10
Wed 4/24
W, 11-1
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2019 Coach Trey Lamb
2011 through current
2019 Varsity Baseball
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Lutheran West
3850 Linden Road
Rocky River, Ohio 44116-4099

Phone: 440.333.1660
Fax: 440.333.1729

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