THOMASTON >> With the bases loaded, one out and Thomaston’s Jake Tehan at the plate, with a chance to win the game, Northwestern’s Nate Tancreti bounced his pitched well before the plate, skipping to the right of Zach Risedorf and out of play, allowing Thomaston’s Anthony Moura to waltz home, scoring the game-winning run, 5-4.
“No one would have drawn it up like that but one more run than them is enough,” said Thomaston head coach Bob McMahon after the odd ending to the game.
Moura, who wasn’t that far down the line, didn’t expect the ball to get past Risedorf.
“I was a little confused,” he said. “I saw it get away and went out.”
Northwestern, played from behind the entire game until they tied it up, couldn’t do anything about it.
“Hey it’s the bounces in the game,” Northwestern head coach Tom Germano said. “Those are the breaks; they caught a break at the right time.”
Moura started off the bottom of the tenth with a base hit, before advancing to second on sacrifice bunt by Justin Taylor. Mike Milius then walked and Matt Tehan added a base hit before the wild pitch happened.
Northwestern tied the game in the top of the seventh on a fielder’s choice and Thomaston didn’t score in the bottom of the seventh, sending the game to extra innings.
Thomaston struggled to get anything going in the extra innings, until the tenth, as opposed to Northwestern who had chances to score in each inning, but three great plays by Thomaston’s Milius kept the Highlanders off the board.
In the eighth Milius prevented a base hit from going through when he dove, full extension, to steal a hit from Northwestern’s Garrett Healy.
Milius wasn’t done, in the ninth, with the Golden Bears in a bunt defense with a runner on first; Bryce Ramsay hit a groundball to Jake Tehan at third. With Moura covering first, in case of the bunt, Milius ran to cover second getting the out and throwing to first to get Ramsay for the double play, ending the threat.
“I just improvised and turned it,” Milius smiled.
Thomaston went down in order in the ninth and again Northwestern got runners on, this time at second and third with two outs. Healy ripped a ball that looked like it would go through for a base hit, but for the third time Milius made a game-saving play fielding the ball, deep in the hole, and throwing out the runner at second, ending the inning.
“Milius is the best shortstop in the league and that, right there, is why,” McMahon said of his junior’s play in the extra innings. “He makes the routine plays, routinely and once in a while makes the difficult ones.”
Thomaston got the scoring going early, putting up a three spot in the bottom of the first, getting RBI base hits from Tyler Donofrio and Shane O’Bar, the other run scored on an error.
“I told Nate to hold them here (after the first),” Germano said. “I thought we would be able to get some runs.”
Germano was right, after Thomaston starter Blaise Russo held them scoreless through the first two innings, before the Highlanders began to chip away, in the top of the third.
With runners on second and third, with one out, Risedorf took a Russo pitch deep to left field, up onto the hill at Thomaston high school, but it was tracked down by O’Bar who was in perfect position. Connor LaBreck score, 3-1.
In the fourth the LaBreck knocked in Devin Warren, cutting the deficit to 3-2.
Thomaston though came back in the bottom of the fourth and scored a run of their own when Russo, helped himself out, hit an RBI base hit to score Jake Tehan.
Another sacrifice fly, by Tony Pucino, pulled the Highlanders closer again.
After a scoreless sixth, the Highlanders, with the game of the line, were able to push across a run on a fielder’s choice tying the game, sending the game to extra innings.
Northwestern’s Tancreti threw all 10 innings for the Highlanders, allowing 12 hits and striking out two batters. Thomaston’s Frank Romanelli pitched three-innings of no-hit baseball to pick up the win.
Thomaston 5, Northwestern 4 (10)
Northwestern 001 110 1000 — 4 11 3
Thomaston 300 100 0001 — 5 12 1
Nate Tancreti and Zach Risedorf; Blaise Russo, Frank Romanelli (7) and Tyler Donofrio.
WP: Frank Romanelli (). LP: Nate Tancreti (). RBI: Risedorf, Pucino, LaBreck (NW); Tyler Donofrio, Blaise Russo, Shane OBar (THOM);
Team records: Northwestern 9-6; Thomaston 12-1.