For eight innings it appeared as if the Leigh/Schuyler Crawdads were on their way to upsetting the unbeaten Wahoo Wombats in Dodge County League baseball action Sunday afternoon at Merchant Park in Schuyler. They carried a 4-3 lead into the ninth inning, but the Wombats erupted for four runs to pull out a 7-4 victory and keep their league record perfect at 12-0.
The loss overshadowed impressive hitting performances by Colin Ortmeier and Alek Murphy of the Crawdads. Ortmeier was 2-for-3 with two long home runs to left field, three RBI, and two runs scored. Murphy went 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles, one RBI, and one run scored.
According to Leigh/Schuyler coach Keith Manak, “Colin and Alek really hit the ball well and showed the power we knew they had. We need to keep hitting the ball like that for the rest of the season and good things will happen to this team.”
Tucker Ramaekers started on the mound for the ‘Dads and pitched a tremendous game until ninth inning. “Tucker gave us a great effort today,” stated Manak. “He gave up those two runs in the first inning then settled down and did a great job. Wahoo can really hit the ball well and Tucker kept them off balance for most of the game.”
Ramaekers pitched 8 2/3 innings allowing seven hits and seven earned runs. He struck out ten and walked five. He only allowed three hits through the first eight innings of action. Alek Murphy relieved Ramaekers with two outs in the ninth and allowed a run scoring double before getting Wahoo’s Marcus Trevino to ground out to the shortstop to end the inning.
Dylan McGill picked up the complete game victory for the Wombats. He allowed four earned runs on eight hits while striking out 15 Crawdad batters and walking two in his nine innings of work.
Wahoo scored the first two runs of the game in the top of the first inning. Mitchell McGill led off with a walk then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Dylan Emanuel. Dylan McGill then ripped a run scoring double to deep left field to drive in Mitchell McGill. Quinn McGill rapped a two-out single up the middle driving in Dylan McGill to make the score 2-0.
Ortmeier got the Crawdads on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning with a majestic blast over the left field fence cutting the deficit to 2-1.
In the bottom of the third inning Josh Spenner led off with a single. After Tyler Morton and Miles Putnam struck out, Ortmeier hit a screaming line drive home run that just cleared the left field fence. The smash gave the Crawdads their first lead of the game at 3-2.
The pitchers took over until the top of the sixth inning. The Wombats scored an unearned run to knot the score at 3-3. Quinn McGill led off with a walk then advanced to third on an error by the Crawdads third baseman when Marcus Trevino belted a ground ball that went between the fielder’s legs into left-field. Tim Benes drove in the tying run when he grounded out to the second baseman for the second out of the inning.
It didn’t take long for the Crawdads to respond and take the lead once again. Murphy led off the bottom of the sixth with a deep blast over the right-center field wall putting the home team in front at 4-3.
“We felt pretty good about things when we were still ahead 4-3 after eight innings,” noted Manak. “The way Tucker had been throwing I was confident that we could give Wahoo their first loss in the league. It was just one of those things. Wahoo has a very good team, as do we, but they had things go their way late in the game when they needed them to.”
Ramaekers got Tim Benes to ground out to the second baseman to lead off the ninth inning for the first out. John Wotipka then grounded up the middle with a single. Mitchell McGill walked to put men on first and second. Dylan Emanuel then singled hard to center field but Spenner’s perfect throw to the plate cut down Wotipka with the second out of the frame and the Crawdads still owing a one-run advantage. A two-run single by Dylan McGill, a RBI double by Brady Trevino, and the RBI double by Quinn McGill all followed with two outs and gave the Wombats a commanding 7-4 lead heading to the bottom of the frame.
The Crawdads didn’t go down without a fight. With two outs Spenner reached on an infield single. Tyler Morton then belted a single to right field, but Spenner was thrown out at third base trying to advance from first base to end the game.
With the loss the Crawdads stand at 6-5 in league action while the Wombats remain perfect at 12-0. The Crawdads play at Dodge on Thursday, then host the Arlington Spartans at Merchant Park on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.