Not letting the rain stop them, Delta put together a seven-run fifth inning once play resumed after a rain delay to defeat Northwood 11-1 in five innings Wednesday in a Division III baseball sectional semifinal at Jim Harmon Field.
The win came at a good time, as the Panthers entered tournament play on a five-game slide.
“We’d been scuffling for about a week-and-a-half,” admitted Delta coach Dammon Matttimore. “It was just situational baseball we were having a hard time dealing with.”
Delta’s final inning at the plate started simple enough with an error and three bunts. Two more errors brought runs across the plate, plus Gabe Freeman drew a bases loaded walk.
Cole Mattin had the big blow in the inning, a two-run single to right.
With two out, Colin Rouleau ended the game when he drove in the final run with a single to left.
“We had timely hits today,” mentioned the Delta coach. “We had an offensive game today. We got swings on the ball and a couple of bunts down. In the game of baseball, who knows what can happen after that.”
A one-run first inning turned into a three-run inning thanks to a Northwood error and hit batter. Jason Beverly made the second out of the inning when he lifted a sac fly to bring home Freeman. Robby Arredondo was hit by a pitch and he stole second base. He came around to score on an error that allowed Rouleau to reach base. Logan Echler scored Rouleau with a single lined into left field.
After stopping for rain in the top of the second, Arredondo drove in a run in the bottom of the second for a 4-0 Panther lead.
Northwood avoided the shutout when Gabe LaPlante scored off a throwing error. The Rangers had runners at second and third in the fourth when a flyout ended the threat.
“To me, it’s showing that we’ve got growth,” Mattimore said of limiting Northwood to one run in the inning. “We’re maturing a little bit as a team. The kids are buying in and they had success in a situation where we had to get an out.”
Mattin went all five innings on the mound to get the win. He scattered five hits and had one strikeout. At the plate, Mattin and Echler both had two hits.
“Cole Mattin threw strikes for us today,” Mattimore added.
Panthers ousted in sectional final
In Friday’s sectional championship game at Eastwood, the Panthers were held to one hit in a 7-0 loss to the Eagles.
Eastwood scored six of its seven runs in the second inning.
Freeman suffered the loss on the mound.
The Panthers (9-13) do have a pair of regular season games this week. Tuesday they visit Napoleon and Thursday they close at home with Hudson, Michigan.
Reach Randy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org