STATE CENTER - Getting runs against West Marshall's Jared Riemenschneider in NICL West baseball play has been tough for the opposition to do.
South Hardin put five on the board in the top of the first against the Trojans' pitching ace on Monday.
Yet West Marshall's bats responded, Riemenschneider settled in and the Trojans took a 9-6 victory at Schilling Field.
T-R PHOTO BY MARK PAWLAK
Nolan Sinning of West Marshall slides into second with a stolen base in front of the throw to South Hardin second baseman Dylin Wilkie. The Trojans overcame a 5-0 deficit to win 9-6 on Monday in State Center.
"I thought the biggest positive to take from the game is we stayed determined, we kept playing hard and methodically chipped away as the game went on," said West Marshall head coach Jerod Brown. "It would have been easy to give up there and let it snowball with a bad second inning, a bad third inning. But we came right back in the bottom half of the the first and got two runs, which were important to show that we were going to be right back in the game."
The win for Riemenschneider on the mound is his 11th straight decision that he's won in NICL West play. The junior is 15-2 overall in his career in conference games. Coming into the night, he had a 10-0 mark and 0.56 ERA since the start of the 2011 season during league action.
West Marshall improves to 10-5 overall and 7-2 in the NICL West. The Trojans are a game back of East Marshall for first place after the Mustangs swept a doubleheader from South Tama on Monday.
Riemenschneider, now 5-0 overall with four NICL West victories this summer, was uncharacteristically wild early on.
South Hardin scored its first four runs of the first without hitting a ball past the infield. An infield single off Riemenschneider by Steve Strange led off the inning, then Riemenschneider hit the next three batters to force in a run. The Tigers added a run on Blake Baker's squeeze bunt, one on Blake Drury's groundout, scored on a wild pitch and added another run on David Shindelar's single.
"I walked and hit batters and I can't do that," Riemenschneider said. "That was all on me. Defense played great."
After half an inning, the Trojans were facing a 5-0 deficit.
West Marshall got two runs back in the bottom of the first after back-to-back RBI singles by Nolan Sinning and Garrett Goodwin.
South Hardin tacked its final run on in the fourth and the Trojans scored seven unanswered runs over their final three at-bats for the final margin.
"After me putting us in a hole, (the offense) put together a good game and pulled out the win," Riemenschneider said.
A three-run sixth broke a 6-all game for West Marshall. Sinning and Goodwin had back-to-back RBI singles for the second time on the night.
Sinning finished 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Goodwin had the two hits and two RBIs. Braydn Beals, Jake Pszanka and Cody Beckham each had an RBI.
Riemenschneider allowed six runs on nine hits. He struck out five and did not walk or hit a batter after the rocky first inning.
"I don't really know what the deal was in the first inning," Brown said. "He just was all over the place. Even the last six innings, he only allowed the one run, but he wasn't sharp.
"Whatever it was I'm glad he kept battling," Brown added. "He knew he didn't have his good stuff and he hung in there and gave us a chance to win."
Strange went 3-for-4 for the Tigers. Sam Shindelar and Luke Rotgers both had a double for South Hardin, which defeated the Trojans 5-4 in the first meeting in Eldora.
Backer threw all six innings and took the loss.
Monday marked the first of four NICL West games in four days for South Hardin (3-7, 2-6). The Tigers host Grundy Center tonight and BCLUW on Wednesday, then follow with a trip to East Marshall on Thursday.
West Marshall has a league game tonight against BCLUW in State Center. The Trojans have non-conference games at Gilbert on Wednesday and at Lynnville-Sully on Thursday.