Fundamentals foul up Rams

By John Bombatch Sports Editor jbombatch@civitasmedia.com

April 22, 2014

JAMESTOWN — There were times during Monday’s Ohio Heritage Conference battle between visiting North Lewisburg Triad and host Greeneview where Rams coach Paul Thompson couldn’t bare to watch.

Thompson had seen his youthful Greeneview bunch jump out in front by a 6-1 score after three innings of play, only to see the lead — and the game — fall away in the final innings. Triad rallied for a 9-6 win, and from the way the Rams coach paced in front of the Greeneview dugout, he had a hunch it would happen.

“We shoulda had ‘em. … We just had a couple lapses in judgment that you just can’t have,” he said. “Good teams like Triad will jump on those mistakes, and that’s what they did today. You can’t let a potential out roll foul when the game’s on the line, and you don’t dive for a ball if it means you’ll give up some big runs if you miss.”

Greeneview (5-7, 3-4 OHC) did both of those things.

Leading 6-1 in the sixth inning, a Rams fielder dove for a shallow hit into centerfield when the Cardinals had the bases loaded. The ball skipped over the fielder’s head and three runs scored on the error to make the score 6-4, Greeneview.

Then in the top of the seventh, with a 6-5 lead and the bases loaded with Cardinals and two outs, a Rams infielder let a ball roll foul instead of charging it and potentially sealing the deal with the final out.

Two pitches later, that same batter — future University of Cincinnati Bearcat Doug Lowe — singled into center field. The hit, combined with at least one Rams throwing error, cleared the bases to give Triad the lead. A passed ball later and the Cardinals had their 9-6 lead.

Greeneview’s Hunter Heathcook outraced an infield grounder for a lead-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning, but Lowe then retired the next three Rams to end the game.

“You’ve gotta play seven innings and that’s what we did. We had some things that didn’t go our way, but we were able to rally. A win’s a win, so we’ll take it,” said Triad coach Will Nichols.

Triad (7-5, 4-2 OHC) scored first when no. 9 hitter Jeremy Steiner was hit by a pitch, stole second then scored on Daulton Holycross’s single into left field.

Greeneview responded by scoring six runs in the home half of the third inning, thanks to three hits and five walks. The Rams sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning with Mason Gallagher, Brian Northrup, Klay Partin, Caleb Green, River Edgington and Heathcook all scoring.

Rams starting pitcher Kyle Bryan threw a nice game. He’d limited Triad to three hits through six innings of work, but he walked a Cardinal lead-off hitter in the sixth, saw a ball deflect off Partin’s leg for a forceout at second, then saw a Triad player reach on an infield error. He then intentionally walked future Bearcat Lowe, and then saw a shallow single clear the bases with the before-mentioned outfield error.

Partin then came in to pitch the seventh inning, and was a foul ball away from sealing the win. But Lowe bashed the single to score three runs, later scoring on a passed ball.

“Lowe came up big with that two-out hit. He was a big reason for our rally today,” Nichols said.

Greeneview has to forget about what might’ve happened on Monday. They play another OHC opponent as the Rams are scheduled to play at Mechanicsburg for today’s 5 p.m. game.