The Picker boys baseball team was scheduled to play in the District 10 semi-final game Thursday, May 26. The News-Journal was to press just prior to the game, but if the contest was anything like Monday evening’s intense game, fans were in for a treat.
In the quarter-final game of the District 10 tournament Monday, the Pickers defeated defending champ Sharpsville 3-0 in 10 innings. No runs we scored until North East’s last at bat.
Steven Ramsdell was outstanding for the maroon and gold, pitching 9 innings and giving up no runs, only 2 hits and striking out 13.
“Steven Ramsdell’s performance was spectacular,” said second-year head coach Shawn Humes. “We have had to move some players around defensively as the result of some injuries, so striking out thirteen batters and getting some easy plays to make in the field really means a lot.”
The play of the day came in the bottom of the eighth inning when Sharpsville had runners on second and third with 1 out. They put on a suicide squeeze bunt, which was fielded by a diving third baseman Pat Harris, who tossed the ball on one hop to catcher Kyle Regan at home plate. Regan made the tag and got the out. After an intentional walk, Ramsdell worked the Sharpsville hitter for a fly out to Ethan Sowers in right field to end the inning.
“The play between Harris and Regan to stop their squeeze attempt was nothing short of amazing,” said Humes. “It was a play that kept our season going for it they [Sharpsville] would have scored, they would have won the game right then and there. The atmosphere in the dugout was nervous and excited at the same time.”
Finally in the tenth inning, Sharpsville had to go to a relief pitcher and the Pickers had their rally. Max Knight started of the rally with walk and Ryan Roggie followed with a single. Next, Regan sent a single to left, which was misplayed, allowing both runs to score.
Harris followed with a double to centerfield, scoring Regan. Following the rules that a pitcher cannot pitch more than 9 innings in one calendar day, relief pitcher Cameron Collins came on in the bottom on the tenth to pick up the win striking out the side.
Josh Eby and Ramsdell also had hits for North East. This was an outstanding contest by both teams. Tyler Koszewski, Rich Turri,and Ryan Holke also contributed in the win.
Prior to Monday’s big win, the Picker squad’s 12-game win streak ended with a tough 4-3 loss to Region Co-Champ Titusville.
The Pickers fell behind 4-1 early but could not come up with that late rally. Harris had 2 hits and 1 RBI, Max Knight had a hit and scored 2 runs, Kyle Regan had a hit and RBI and Ryan Roggie and Collins each had a hit. Collins was the hard luck loser on the mound.
North East lost a tough one to Harbor Creek last week, 8-3. Roggie, Sowers, and Mitchell Keith scored runs for the Pickers. Collins had a hit and RBI and Darryl Brink took the loss on the mound. Sowers pitched 5 1/3 solid innings in relief.
Humes said to prepare for Thursday’s contest against Saegertown, his team would prepare with hitting and bunting practice. Collins was set to start on the mound.
This is the first season since 2008 that the Pickers have entered post-season play.