Juan Gonzalez

Juan Gonzalez eyes a pitch during a Legion game against David City last week. In Schuyler's first win two nights later, Gonzalez earned the victory with eight strikeouts and was 2 for 3 at the plate with two RBIs.

Schuyler American Legion Seniors baseball rode its top hitting performance of the year and the arm of Juan Gonzalez to a thrilling 5-2 come-from-behind victory over Utica/Beaver Crossing last Thursday night to garner its first victory of the 2019 season.

Gonzalez pitched a gem in 6 and 2/3 innings of work for the victory. He was cruising towards a complete-game victory but had to be lifted with two outs in the seventh inning after reaching the 105 pitch-count limit for the game.

Gonzalez allowed two earned runs on only five hits while walking only one U/BC batter and striking out eight. Nolan Healy took over for Gonzalez and pitched the final out, striking out Sid Farley for the save.

As good as Gonzalez was on the hill, it was hit bat that brought the Seniors back to life and lifted them from a 2-1 sixth inning deficit to a 3-2 lead.

He smashed a 2-2 pitch off U/BC’s Farley that cleared the fence in left field for a two-run home run that brought the Schuyler players and fans to their feet.

Tyler Kohl had led off the inning for Schuyler with a solid single setting up the go-ahead blast.

U/BC took the lead in the first inning following a double play. Gavin Avery drew a two-out walk then Kalten Bauers belted an RBI-double to right field scoring Avery all the way from first base. It stood that way until the fourth.

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Farley led off U/BC’s half of the inning with a single. After stealing second base, Farley came around to score with two outs on a failed pick-off attempt by Gonzalez. That made the score 2-0 heading into the home half of the inning.

Kohl led off with a ground out to the third baseman then Gonzalez smashed a double to center field. He advanced to third when Easton hall grounded out to third then scored when Aaron Langemeier reached first base on a throwing error from the first baseman to the pitcher covering on a grounder to the right side. The unearned run cut U/BC’s lead in half at 2-1.

Following Gonzalez’s home run, Schuyler scored two more unearned runs when Easton Hall and Aaron Langemeier scored on a throwing error by the second baseman to home plate making it 5-2.

Schuyler’s offense was led by Gonzalez who went 2 for 3 with two runs batted in and two runs scored. Also collecting a hit for Schuyler was Kohl, who went 1 for 3 with a run scored. Easton Hall and Langemeier each had a run scored for Schuyler as well.

With their first victory of the season under their belts, the Seniors now travel to North Bend this Friday and to Logan View on Sunday before returning home to take on Valparaiso at Merchant Park on Tuesday, June 18.  

Doug Phillips is a freelance writer for the Schuyler Sun. Reach him via email at SCHsports@lee.net.

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