PAULDING – Rams head man Brent Renollet pushed all his chips to the middle of the table, not once, but two straight times.
Things looked very bleak for the Tinora Rams baseball team as they headed into the top of the seventh inning, trailing the Panthers of Paulding, 1-0.
Tinora’s head coach Renollet reached deep into his bag of tricks in the seventh to will the Rams to a victory in a must win conference game.
Tinora came into the contest vs the Panthers off that heartbreaking loss at Antwerp on Tuesday to the Archers. The Rams were 11-1, 4-1 in the GMC, while the Panthers were 8-6, 3-2 in conference play.
Both starters, Tinora’s Nolan Schafer and Paulding’s Sam Woods battled through eight innings.
The only run in the game through the first six innings came in the bottom of the third inning courtesy of the Panthers Isaac Reeb. Reeb’s two out single scored Sam Woods with the first, and only run, giving Paulding a 1-0 lead.
Woods had the Tinora bats reeling, allowing only three hits through six innings of work.
Trailing 1-0, Casen Wolfrum lead off the Tinora seventh with an infield single. After a Teron Ward sacrifice, Wolfrum moved to second. Tristan Birks came through with a pinch hit single through the left side of the infield, Casen Wolfrum stopped at third. Dalton Wolfrum came on to pinch run for Birks and stole second.
The Rams had the tying run at third with one out, pinch hitter Alec Schaublin came to the plate for his most pressure packed AB to date. Schaublin laid down a perfect suicide squeeze, scoring Casen Wolfrum to tie the game at 1-1.
The Paulding throw home was not in time, enabling Tinora’s Schaublin to leg it out to first safely. Again, the Rams had runners at first and third, but now the game was tied at 1-1. Up stepped Rams catcher, Tyler Wiemken.
The fans were thinking no way does Renollet do it again. Yep, the second squeeze play brought home Dalton Wolfrum from third, Wiemken was safe at first, the Rams now lead 2-1 after having just three hits coming into the inning.
Woods and the Panthers would get out of the inning, however, the Rams now lead 2-1 heading to the bottom of the seventh.
The Tinora senior, Nolan Schafer also battled, limiting the Panthers to just a single run through the first six innings needed just three outs for the win.
Paulding’s Sam Woods hit a one out double to get in scoring position. Schafer retired the next Panther, bringing up Jacob Martinez. Martinez sent a liner to right field. Rams Daultin Wolfrum came in full speed, diving, coming up just short, the Panthers tied the game at 2-2. Tinora would get out of the inning tied, the teams headed to extra innings.
The top of the eight saw the Rams Cole Commisso lead off with a single, then steal second base. Commisso would get to third on a perfect sacrifice buy by Jayden Bergman. Tinora’s Casen Wolfrum would send a liner back to the mound, the liner hit Woods, the ball, Woods both fell to the ground, Woods would throw to first, the throw was a bit off, sending Wolfrum tumbling. In all the action, Cole Commisso would score from third, giving the Rams a 3-2 lead.
Woods would get the next two outs for Paulding as we headed to the bottom of the eighth inning.
Tinora’s Schafer came back out to attempt to get the win.
Ethan Foltz singled to lead off the Panthers frame. A fielders choice would put Peyton Adams at first, but now two were out. Panthers Kane Jones sent a double in the alley, the Panthers now had the tying run at third, and the winning run at second.
Schafer and the Rams needed just one more out for the win, and they got it via strikeout, ending the Panthers hopes, completing the 3-2 comeback win.
With the win, Tinora improves to 12-1, the Rams keep their GMC title hopes alive, moving to 5-1 in the GMC.
Antwerp was defeated by Wayne Trace, putting the Raiders at the top of the conference standings at 6-0. The Raiders will travel to Tinora next Wednesday for a makeup game.
Paulding falls to 8-7, 3-3 in conference play.
The Higbea Embroidery Player of the Game went to Rams catcher, Ty Wiemken. Weimken put the Rams up 2-1 with a perfect squeeze in the seventh, as well has his stellar play behind the plate. Congratulations Tyler.
Audio Highlights below:
Rams back in action Saturday at Defiance for a 5:45 pm start vs St Henry.
Pics – Sarah Harris