Friday, April 14, 2017

Northeast Breaks Open Game Late; Sweeps Platte Valley in Doubleheader

Northeast Nodaway got to Platte Valley's pitching to break open the game late and pulled away for a 7-2 win, completing a double header sweep of the Longhorns. The win put Northeast back into the 275 title hunt at 2-1, something that came as a big relief for Coach Vance Proffitt after the Bluejays had dropped their first three games, two by close margins. He said that they were able to build on their strong finish against North Nodaway, had a good practice Wednesday, and came out ready to play in both game. "It's not the easiest thing to maintain your focus for 14 innings, but everyone did their part today," he said.

Platte Valley was also looking for their first win of the year, and they were determined to give a better accounting of themselves than the first time. Northeast threatened in the first, but a 6-4-3 double play from the Longhorns fired them up and quashed the threat. Platte Valley got their first two runners on base as shortstop Spencer Weir airmailed a throw to first and Koby Stoll got a single just under his glove. But freshman pitcher Ethan Adwell, facing the heart of the order, froze Trey Farnan for a called third strike, got Reagan Meyer to pop up to Weir behind second, and Andrew Freemyer leaped over Tristan Freemyer to force him at third for the final out.

Northeast tried to manufacture a run in the second as Ethan Adwell walked, Spencer Gray walked, but Adwell was shot down at third trying to steal by catcher Nate Jermain. Platte Valley finally broke through in the second as Dalton Luke came home from second when Rowdy West threw away a throw to third after a wild pitch to make it 1-0.

Northeast wasted little time erasing the lead in the third as Spencer Weir, who narrowly missed a home run in the first game, gave another one a long ride but well foul. Frequently, batters don't get another chance after nearly missing one, but this time, Weir caught hold of another offering from Tanner Davis and his blast barely cleared the center field wall to tie it at 1. Northeast moved ahead when Chet Spire walked, stole second, and scored on groundouts from Andrew Freemyer and Rowdy West.

Platte Valley tied it up in the bottom of the third when Tristan Freemyer walked, stole second, went to third on Trey Farnan's groundout, and scored on Reagan Meyer's groundout. Neither side could score in the fourth as Northeast had Spencer Gray picked off and Reed McIntyre thrown out stealing; Platte Valley got Nate Jermain on with one out thanks to Spencer Weir's bobble and he took second on a wild pitch. A long single could put Platte Valley ahead, but Clayton Wilmes chased at a pitch out of the zone for strike three and Ethan Adwell got out of the inning by getting Dalton Luke to ground out to the mound.

It looked like Northeast would go down quietly in the fifth as Spencer Weir flied out and Chet Spire grounded out, but Andrew Freemyer kept Northeast alive with a walk. Rowdy West singled past a diving Tristan Freemyer at short and freshman Ethan Adwell doubled through the hole between third and short to score two to break the tie and put Northeast up 4-2.

Logan Harlan, the #9 batter for Platte Valley, walked to start the bottom of the fifth as Andrew Freemyer came on to try to close out the Longhorns. It didn't bode well at first as the top of the order was coming up. Tristan Freemyer followed with a pop fly single to center, but then Andrew Freemyer settled down against the heart of the order. He struck out Koby Stoll chasing a low and outside pitch for the first out. Facing Trey Farnan, he got him to chase an outside pitch and then froze him with a high fastball for strike three; he simply overpowered Reagan Meyer to get out of the inning with no damage done.

#17 led off the Platte Valley sixth with a walk as Freemyer started off shaky in the sixth. He threw a wild pitch that got away from Rowdy West, but he recovered and threw out pinch runner Taylar Freemyer stealing for the first out. That seemed to settle down Freemyer, who struck out Nate Jermain. Clayton Wilmes finally got a solid shot off Freemyer, a drive up the middle that Freemyer tried to barehand, but couldn't. But somehow, Spencer Weir made a diving grab for it, came up with the carom, and threw from the ground just in time for the third out.

Northeast was looking for some insurance in the top of the seventh and they got to reliever Cade Henggeler, who walked the first three batters he faced. Ethan Adwell struck out, but then Brayden Welch hit a grounder to Koby Stoll at second. Stoll bobbled the ball and threw it away, allowing Chet Spire and Andrew Freemyer to score. Rowdy West was picked off third on the play as he came around too far, but the damage was done and Northeast was up 6-2. Spencer Gray hit a shot that shortstop Tristan Freemyer knocked down, but had no play on. Welch took off for third on a wild pitch and came home went catcher Nate Jermain's errant throw got away, allowing him to score and make it 7-2. Andrew Freemyer retired the side in order for the save.

No comments: