GREENVILLE – The Greenville boys varsity baseball team grabbed victory in dramatic walk-off fashion, taking advantage of freshman Warren Harztzell’s walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh to defeat the visiting Troy Trojans.
“Our guys fought all night long,” said Greenville coach Eric Blumenstock. “Freshman came through with the big-game winning hit. It was just a battle – it’s always a battle when we play Troy.”
“I was proud of the kids tonight,” Blumenstock continued. “We had a freshman, Alex Kolb start on the mound. We’re going to start a freshman tomorrow so we have back-to-back freshmen going our first two league games this year.”
Trailing 3-2 with bases empty and two outs in the Wave’s final at bat, Greenville senior catcher Ethan Saylor took first by way of a hit batsman followed by a Tyler Beyke liner to center putting runners on first and second.
With Hartzell stepping to the plate, the Greenville freshman was looking at a 1-1 count when Saylor used a heads-up play to slide safely into third by way of a Troy wild pitch. Beyke followed with a steal of second putting both runners in scoring position for the Wave.
Facing a 2-ball, 2-strike pitch, Hartzell settle back in the box to drill a liner to left plating the speedy duo of Sayler and Beyke giving Greenville a walk-off GWOC win over the always tough Troy Trojans baseball team.
“Troy brought 11 seniors with them today and they graduated 11 seniors last year,” Blumenstock stated. “When you play Troy you’re going to play a team that is sound, you’re going to play kids that are baseball four years of high school.”
“We’re coming in experience wise under-matched against these guys but they don’t care,” Blumenstock added. “They are just fighting and they are wanting to battle.”
Troy got on the board with three runs in the top of the fourth, a 3-0 lead that would hold up until Greenville would score two in the top of the sixth with Beyke using a hit batsman to reach first.
Terry Miller followed with a single to right moving Beyke to third with Coach Blumenstock inserting a speedy Connor Mills to run for Miller. Reed Hanes plated Beyke with a single to center for a 3-1 score while moving Mills to third.
Kole Francis stepped to the plate following a Trojans pitching change and grounded into a fielder’s choice scoring Mills with the Wave closing to 3-2 after six complete.
The Trojans loaded the bases in the top of the seventh with a single and two walks only to have Francis cleanly field a grounder to short and toss to Mills at second for the third out keeping Troy off seventh inning board and set up the Wave’s dramatic comeback win.
Alex Kolb opened for Greenville on the mound tossing 4.2 innings giving up 3-hits, 3-walks, 6-strikeouts while giving up 3-earned runs with senior Ethan Saylor behind the plate.
“It means everything in the world,” Blumenstock said of his veteran catcher. “Some of these freshmen haven’t had kids catch for them up to this point that can kind of direct them, guide them, handle their velocity sometimes and their breaking stuff. You get an older guy back there – takes these younger kids and turns them in to sophomores real quick. I’m proud as heck of these guys.”
Titan Grote pitched 1.1 innings in middle relief allowing 1-hit, striking out six and allowing no runs.
“Tytan Grote did a heck-of-a-job,” said Blumenstock. “If it wasn’t for Titan coming in and throwing strikes and throwing hard, we wouldn’t be where we are right now.”
Beyke pitched the final inning giving up 1-hit, 2-walks, 1-strikeout and no runs to pick up the win for the Wave.
“Tyler (Beyke) pitched Friday and struggled,” Blumenstock shared. “I know Tyler is a gamer. He’s been dealing with a shoulder injury that he had from football and he is to the point now where he can be out there throwing – and he shut them down. Did what we needed.”
Beyke paced Greenville at the plate going 2-3 with 2-runs scored. Hartzel was 1-4 with 2-RBIs, Hanes went 1-2 with a walk and a RBI, Francis accounted for a RBI, Saylor a run and Miller and Ethan Flannery each collecting singles.
Greenville outhit Troy 6-5. The Trojans played error free ball while the Wave played impressive defense allowing a single error on the night.
“It was an all-around team effort,” concluded Blumenstock. “We got a lot of guys on the field and a lot of guys up to the plate tonight. We have a lot of things to build on. I have a couple guys that will be back – I have one coming back in a week and one coming back in two weeks. We’re just going to keep getting stronger.”
Reach Gaylen Blosser firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-548-3330