SIMULATED CHIGAGO — The Carroll Patriots were told they would be playing Cedarville High in a simulation baseball game “up north.” They had no idea that would mean the confines of Chicago’s Wrigley Field.
Carroll batters might’ve been in awe of the simulated moment, playing on the historic field. Or maybe they were busy trying to catch a glimpse of the vines, that usually cover the ball park’s brick walls, that hadn’t grown in yet. Whatever it was, it took until the fifth inning for the Patriots to finally get the lead from the upstart Indians.
When the wind picked up, so did the Patriots bats.
With the win blowing strong into left centerfield, Carroll scored a combined nine runs in the game’s fifth, sixth and seventh innings to rally past Cedarville for a solid 9-1 win, Thursday, April 23 in simulated Chicago.
The key blow was Matthew McMahan’s wind-aided grand slam onto Waveland Avenue in the six-run seventh, scoring himself, Jake Westgerdes, Andrew Sliper, and pitcher Trent Randall.
The seventh was also when Cedarville’s pitchers started to run out of gas. Indian pitchers walked four Carroll batters, while the Patriots collected three hits, including Westgerdes’ blast.
Meanwhile, Carroll starter Trent Randall could do no wrong. Randall started out shaky when he walked Indians lead-off batter C.J. Pahl, who raced on to third when teammate Caden McKinion singled into the power alley of left field. Pahl then trotted home on a wild pitch.
The Indians held that precarious 1-0 lead through the game’s first four innings, while stranding six base runners.
Westgerdes scored Randall from third in the fifth inning to enable the Patriots to tie the game at 1-all. Carroll had the bases loaded with two out, and appeared to be set to do more damage, but a diving catch in the outfield by John Horsley ended the threat.
Horsley was shaken up on the play, and he may have left a tooth in the left-field bricks, but he stayed in the game.
Carroll ‘s Sliper slipped across home plate after McMahan’s RBI single to left, and Johnny Adkins scored on an infield groundout, to give the Pats a 3-1 lead after six innings of play. Then Carroll had its six-run seventh to take command.
Randall, Westgerdes and McMahan each went 3-for-5 at the plate, Jacob Maurer went 3-for-6, and Sliper was the other Patriots batter with multiple hits, with two.
The pitching Randall scattered five Indians hits with three strikeouts and seven walks in the complete-game win.
Cedarville’s Caden McKinion collected two of those hits, but was left stranded at second base both times he got on base. Pahl, Tommy Lowe and Adam Wood also had hits in the loss.
NEXT UP: Beavercreek (1-0) heads to Grady’s Field on the Simulated Athletes in Action Sports Complex to take on Legacy Christian (0-2).