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|7/3/2013 ||Email this article Print this article |
Rebel boys split with Lisbon, stay atop Big East
|Northeast junior Charlie Marcucci hits the ball during the Rebels’ game with Tipton at the Northeast Invitational, Saturday morning. Both the game and tournament met a premature and wet demise after heavy rains rolled into the area. Marcucci scored three runs in the second game of the Rebels’ doubleheader with Lisbon, Thursday night, as Northeast remained a game in front of the pack in the Big East standings with a 10-6 win. Photos by Ross Eberhart|
By Ross Eberhart
A year might have passed, but the stakes remained high when the Northeast and Lisbon baseball teams met for a doubleheader, Thursday night.
Last summer in the Big East finale for both teams, the Rebels and Lions took part in a de facto conference championship (Northeast needed to sweep both games, Lisbon needed to just win) with the latter squad bringing home the title.
Postponements kept Thursday's rematch from again being the finale for both teams, but the twinbill still had plenty of big implications.
A sweep for the Rebels would put them three games ahead of everyone else in the standings with just four conference games to play. A sweep for the Lions would vault them into first and on the precipice of a second-straight Big East crown.
In the end, both teams got half of what they wanted. The Lions drew even with the Rebels in the standings by taking game one 6-2, but Northeast won the nightcap 10-6 to regain their one-game edge in the conference standings.
"We have been successful all year by doing the little things right and playing every pitch," Northeast head coach Tyler Howe said. "We didn't do it this game (the opener). It happens.
"I'm proud that we bounced back in game two and we still control our destiny in the conference."
Both teams had 10 hits in the opener, but a rough day in the field caught up with the Rebels, who committed five errors in the game, including two during a four-run fourth inning that broke things open for the Lions.
The Rebels struck first in the game, plating a pair of runs in the top of the second.
Jared Henfrey led off the inning with a single and was replaced on first by Matt Haferbier after a fielder's choice. Lisbon got a second out on a fly-out, but Nick Wall singled and Charlie Marcucci drove in Haferbier with a hit of his own.
Ben Hildebrandt followed with a single of his own to score Wall and it was 2-0.
The Lions answered back with a run in the bottom of the inning and then took advantage of two Northeast errors in their big fourth inning to take the lead.
Lisbon tacked on one final run in the sixth to finish off the four-run win.
The Rebels put two different runners in scoring position after scoring in the second, but were unable to add to their total.
Wall and Marcucci both had two hits in the game with the former scoring a run and the latter driving one in. Haferbier scored the other run with Hildebrandt joining Marcucci with a run.
Cole Dickey earned the hard-luck loss, spreading out 10 hits and giving up just two earned runs, while striking out seven and walking three.
The Rebels took out their frustrations on Lisbon early in game two as Northeast exploded for eight runs in the first three innings.
The Lions batted first in the game and actually put the Rebels in an early 2-0 hole, but Northeast answered back in the bottom of the first.
Marcucci and Hildebrandt both reached base to open the frame (the former walked, the latter single) and Stoecker got Northeast on the board with a sacrifice fly. Michael Hartung added an RBI-groundout and it was 2-2.
Lisbon failed to score in the second and Northeast took control of the game with five more runs.
Henfrey set the tone with an inning-opening double, while Nick Bailey walked. Dickey hit a single to score Henfrey's courtesy runner, Trey Sullivan, and Wall followed with his own hit to load the bases.
Marcucci did his damage without hitting the ball as his walk brought in Bailey before Hildebrandt singled to drive in a pair.
Stoecker finished things off with his second sacrifice fly of the game and it was 7-2.
Lisbon got some of the momentum back with two runs of their own in the third, but Northeast scored another run in the bottom of the inning (Wall reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and scored on an error) and then finished things off with two runs in the sixth.
Marcucci drew his third walk of the game to lead things off and minutes later Stoecker earned a free pass of his own. Both Rebels ended up scoring on a single by Hartung to make it 10-4.
The Lions made a final rally in the seventh with two runs, but Northeast ended the threat and the game.
Hartung and Hildebrandt both had two hits in the game and combined for five RBIs. Marcucci scored three times, all of them coming after he drew a walk. Stoecker did not even have an official at-bat (thanks to two walks and two sacrifice flies), but still knocked in two runs and scored one himself.
Henfrey earned the victory on the mound, allowing seven hits and the six runs, while striking out five batters.
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