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|6/22/2013 ||Email this article Print this article |
Rebels rally twice for wild 4-3 win over Cardinals
|Northeast sophomore Michael Hartung (center in helmet) gets congratulated by teammates after his hard-hit grounder plated the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the eighth inning of the Rebels’ 4-3 victory over Maquoketa, Tuesday night. Hartung was one of three Rebels to have a hit in the game which was scoreless until the seventh inning.|
By Ross Eberhart
As the innings continued to pass without a run, fans of the Northeast and Maquoketa baseball teams knew they were in store for a fantastic finish during Tuesday night's non-conference tilt.
They were right and then some.
Held in check for the first six innings of their meeting, the Rebels and Cardinals came alive late.
Maquoketa struck first, breaking the stalemate with two runs in the top of the seventh, despite not recording a hit.
Facing a deficit for the first time, the Rebels broke out of their own funk and were able to tie things up with two runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh.
Neither team was done scoring either, as the Cardinals struck again in the top of the eighth to pull back in front.
Northeast, though, had the last laugh as three Cardinal miscues helped the Rebels plate two for a dramatic 4-3 win.
"(I) couldn't be prouder of the guys," Northeast head coach Tyler Howe said. "We never quit - got down two in the seventh and scored two, got down one in the eighth and scored two for the win."
The final two innings might have lacked some grace (the two teams combined for nine errors in the game, the bulk of which came late), but definitely not drama as the Rebels rallied back twice.
Trailing 2-0 after Maquoketa took advantage of its miscues in the top of the inning, Northeast made the most of its own breaks in the bottom of the seventh.
The first two Rebel batters of the frame - Michael Hartung and Ketzalli Dondiego - put Northeast in business when they were hit by pitches and Matt Haferbier moved both into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt.
Pinch hitter Nick Wall, meanwhile, grounded out to the right side of the infield, allowing Hartung to score.
Down to their last out and with a runner on third, Rebel junior Charlie Marcucci came up big with a single to left. Dondiego scored and the game was knotted up again.
The score did not remain tied for long as Maquoketa used a pair of singles, a stolen base and a passed ball to plate another run in the eighth.
The Rebels, however, continued to put pressure on the Maquoketa defense by putting balls in play and it paid off in the bottom of the stanza.
With one out, Cole Dickey hit a hard grounder. The Maquoketa shortstop was able to get to the ball, but his hurried throw sailed out of play, allowing Dickey to take second.
Jared Henfrey was up next and lofted a fly-ball to right. The hit, though, was batted right into the glow of the lights and the Maquoketa right fielder could not locate it.
The ball ended up landing harmlessly on the turf in front of the right fielder. Dickey's courtesy runner, Trey Sullivan, scampered to third when the ball finally did land, while Henfrey alertly took second to put two runners in scoring position.
Hartung was the next batter and he too put a ball in play with a short chopper to the right side of the infield. The second baseman charged in to make a play, but the ball kicked up at the last moment and bounced past him.
Sullivan came around for the tying run and pinch runner Jack Murphy was right behind him for the winning run in a 4-3 victory.
The first six innings of the game acted as a pitching duel between Dickey and Maquoketa's Alex Becker.
Dickey went all eight innings, allowing just six hits and three runs (none of which were earned), while striking out six Cardinals and not walking one.
Becker allowed just three Rebel hits and one run during his six innings on the mound, while striking out nine batters.
Both teams had chances to get on the board before the seventh, but were kept at bay. Northeast, in particular, had a runner on third in both the fifth and sixth innings, but Becker ended both threats with strikeouts.
Marcucci had three hits in the game with Dickey and Hartung adding one apiece for the Rebels.
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