Wednesday, March 12, 2014 3:20 AM
Published on: Thursday, May 02, 2013
By Holden Wilen
ROCKVILLE – After giving up the lead twice, the Blake High School baseball team beat Rockville 9-6 thanks to a five-run seventh inning.
Blake scored a run in the top half of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead, but Rockville responded with two runs of its own. After tying the game in the second inning, Blake scored two more runs in the third inning and led 4-2. In the fifth inning though, Rockville put together a rally and scored three runs to grab a 5-4 lead.
All season long Blake has been an up-and-down team, said head coach Steve Murfin. When Rockville took the lead in the fifth Murfin said he told the players to not hang their heads and instead keep their energy up.
“Sometimes in baseball you just want to fold the tent and go home, but no, I told them remember this game is for you,” Murfin said. “Show me what you got out there. Go down swinging. That’s what I told them and they did. Fortunately they swung and they were hitting the ball.”
Down 6-4 in the seventh and final inning Blake put together one last rally. After the leadoff hitter struck out, starting pitcher Pradrp Ramamurti hit a double. The next batter, third baseman Brendan Lindsay drove him in with a base hit to cut the lead to one run.
After another hit and a fielder’s choice, senior centerfielder Stefan Sigwalt came to the plate with two outs and two runners on base. He came through by smoking a fastball to deep leftfield for a ground-rule double to drive in both runners and give his team the lead.
“I was just trying to blank everything out,” Sigwalt said. “It was the last out so if I got out the game was over. I was just trying to blank it all out and just play it like any other pitch.”
Two hitters later, senior catcher Zachary Johnson came to the plate. Murfin almost pinch-hit for the catcher, who had been struggling offensively with only two hits on the season. At the last second he changed his mind and Johnson in the game.
“I was thinking about it and something in my heart said no, he is going to come through,” Murfin said.
Johnson did come through, getting his third hit of the season by driving a double to the gap in left-centerfield to drive in two more runs.
Murfin said he named Johnson a captain for the remainder of the season following the game because of his leadership and stellar play. Earlier in the game, in the sixth inning, Johnson made a running, over-the-shoulder catch to help hold a Rockville rally to one run.
“It was a fun catch right and right in front of their bench which made it even better,” Johnson said.
For Rockville the game is one six in a nine-day stretch. Playing so many games in a small stretch of time, Rockville coach Farron Riggs said he did not have many pitching options which led to starting pitcher Marcus Hailstock completing the game despite allowing 14 hits and 9 runs.
“Marcus is our number two (picher),” Riggs said. “He wanted to be in there to finish the game off and it just did not work out for him today. That is baseball and there is nothing you can do about. We have got to just tip our hats and put it behind us and get ready for tomorrow. That is the best thing about baseball—there is always that next game.”
Meanwhile, Johnson said he was excited Blake was finally able to pick up a come-from-behind victory and he was proud to have played a key role in the win.
“This is the way how we have been losing games,” Johnson said. “We would be up and the other teams would come back. It feels really good to get a win that way. We have been playing good but just making mental errors. For me getting that hit was good because it was like my third hit of the year. Anyway you can help the team is good for me.”