by Beau Wicker
Logansport’s baseball team certainly made things interesting at the end when it appeared a win was well at hand.
The Berries managed to pull off a win that was equal parts relief and jubilation.
Connor Looker drew a bases-loaded walk in the seventh inning to lift the Berries to a 9-8 win over visiting Taylor on Monday.
“We’ll take it,” Logan coach Jim Turner said. “We’ve had games get away that were like that, too, so it was our turn to win one.”
Looker faced a full count with one out when Taylor pitcher Jonathan Mahoney’s pitch sailed outside for ball four for what was truly a “walk-off” win.
The Berries (7-2) took a 6-2 lead after three innings and it remained that way through five complete. They led 8-5 after six before finding a way to pull out the win at the end.
“It almost got away from us,” Turner said. “I don’t know what happened. We just quit doing anything offensively. Their kid with the curveball [Mahoney], he just baffled us. We got a little tight and just didn’t make plays we should make.”
Kyle Jordan (1-1) got the Berries out of a jam with the bases loaded full of Titans (3-3) after they had cut the lead to 6-5 in the top of the sixth. Jordan recorded a three-pitch strikeout to get out of the inning.
But Jordan battled some wildness to allow the Titans back in the game in the seventh. With the bases loaded and two outs, he walked Trevor Marler and then uncorked a wild pitch to make it 8-7.
The Berries then allowed the tying run to score when their shortstop bobbled a ground ball on what could have been a routine 6-4 putout and then threw to first with the first baseman not covering. Jordan averted further damage by getting a fly out to right to end the inning.
The Berries committed four errors in the game that led to six unearned runs.
“You would think we would dominate,” Turner said. “Give them some credit. We would start out with an error and put them where their big kids came up and they hit the ball well. They’ve got a feisty little team, and they’re missing four kids that are hurt out of their starters.”
Clayton Frye started the seventh-inning rally with a base hit. Pinch-runner Zach Key was sacrificed to second by Dustin Clements. Chris Jones was intentionally walked, and both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch. Jordan was then intentionally walked after drawing a 3-0 count to load the bases. Looker followed by drawing the third straight walk to end the game.
Travis Palmer went 3-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored to lead the Berries at the plate. He had a key RBI single in the sixth.
Frye went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Cory Rozzi went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a double off the fence in left field. Looker had a base hit and two RBIs. Tommy Corcoran had a base hit and two runs scored. Jordan added a base hit and run scored.
Cody Graf got the start and allowed two runs (none earned) on three hits and three walks in four innings pitched. He’s normally the Berries’ closer but obviously wasn’t available at the end.
Clements relieved and allowed three runs (none earned) on five hits in 1 2/3 innings. Jordan allowed three runs (two earned) on one hit in 1 1/3 innings.
“We just haven’t played enough games to where our pitching is real, real sharp,” Turner said.
Neither is the defense, but the Berries still have found a way to win seven of their nine games thus far. They host Rochester today.