Chargers blast over ROWVA for regional title

Mindy Carls
The Orion Chargers avenged a defeat earlier in the season with a 10-5 pasting of the ROWVA?Tigers in the regional championship game on Saturday, May 23, in Oneida. It was the third regional title in school history, and the first with coach Bryce Palar.

After letting the ROWVA Tigers claw back into the game, the Orion Chargers thundered to a 10-5 win in the regional championship game on Saturday, May 23, in Oneida.

“We have been very solid in pitching and defense all year,” Charger coach Bryce Palar said. “Today was one of those days we got big hits when we needed them.”

Orion’s hitting has been questionable all year, he said.

There’s no quit in the Chargers, according to Palar. They had a 5-1 lead in the fourth inning, but the Tigers scored three runs in the next frame to pull within one.

In the bottom of the fifth, Orion came up with three more runs. The Chargers tacked on two in the sixth.

Orion’s defense got off to a strong start in the first inning. ROWVA’s Trevor McCarthy grounded out, and Orion’s James Matson struck out Jake Jake Logan and Casey Schuermann.

In the Charger half of the first, Matson led off with a walk. He stole second.

Jake Johnson reached on an error by the first baseman. Matson went to third.

Catcher’s obstruction put Cody Williams on, loading the bases for the next batter.

But a double play and a groundout ended the inning without any runs.

Matson whiffed the Dylan Reid and Grant Saline in the top of the second. After Ben Scott singled into center, Matson got Matt Shepherd to ground out to Lucas Grymonprez at second.

In their half of the second, the Chargers manufactured a run to go up 1-0.

Kaleb Hougland led off with a base hit up the middle. Trevor Peterson grounded out but moved his teammate to second.

One out later, a wild pitch sent Peterson to third. Kyle Solomonson walked.

Matson drove a 2-2 pitch into left field for a single that scored Peterson.

ROWVA tied the score 1-1 in the top of the third.

Matt Scott doubled, and Jake Reffett went in to run for him. When Reffett tried to steal third,

Johnson threw to Peterson to put him out.

After Tigers Tyler Martin and McCarthy delivered back-to-back singles, Logan came up with a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position.

An error brought Martin across the plate.

In the Charger half of the third, Williams rocketed a double into right field. The next batter struck out, and the two after him grounded out to the shortstop.

With one out in the top of the fourth, Ben Scott, Shepherd and Matt Scott all singled. 

Martin came to the plate with the bases loaded. He hit into a fielder’s choice that had Peterson throwing to Johnson to cut down Ben Scott trying to score from third.

McCarthy flied out to Drew West in right field to end the inning.

Orion posted three runs in the home half of the fourth.

Peterson waited out four straight pitches to lead off with a walk.

One out later, Solomonson singled into right field. Jake Dahl went in to run for him. Dahl advanced to second on a wild pitch.

As it began to sprinkle, Matson whipped a base hit into right field to score Dahl.

Johnson stroked the first pitch he saw to the fence in center field for a double, which allowed Matson to cross the plate and give Orion a 4-1 lead.

Williams singled into right field to score Johnson for the final run of the frame.

In the top of the fifth, ROWVA’s Logan led off with a walk. Matson whiffed Schuermann, but Reid smacked a home run into center field.

With the skies growing darker over Oneida, Orion’s lead had been cut to 5-3.

Hutton relieved Matson, who went out to right field. Johnson replaced Hutton at short, and Solomonson went in to catch. 

Saline stepped up to the plate and flied out to Matson, who made the catch while running backward.

With the rain coming down harder, Ben Scott delivered a blooper that fell in the infield. An error let Scott go all the way to third. Shepherd singled him in.

Matt Scott put the ball in plate, reaching first when an infielder’s throw pulled Williams off the bag.

Hutton then set down Martin on strikes to end the inning.

With their lead slashed to 5-4, the Chargers had to wait out a 10-minute rain delay before they could bat.

ROWVA?sent a new pitcher, Saline, to the mound, and he promptly walked Hougland and Peterson. 

Grymonprez executed a sacrifice bunt to move the runners into scoring position.

Solomonson worked the count to full and walked.

Matson dropped a blooper into the infield. After a fielder’s choice and two errors, Hougland and Peterson both scored to put Orion’s lead at 7-4.

Johnson drew the fourth walk of the inning to load the bases.

Williams was out at first, but Solomonson scored to give the Chargers an 9-4 advantage.

ROWVA started the sixth inning with McCarthy’s bunt single up the third base line.

Hutton got Logan to ground out to Grymonprez, who threw to Johnson to get McCarthy at second.

On a full-count pitch, Schuermann popped up to Williams for the second out.

Reid walked, only to see Hutton strike out Saline to end the inning.

The Chargers got their final run in the sixth. With one out, Hougland singled up the middle. He stole second.

Peterson doubled up the middle, scoring Hougland.

Down to their last at bat, the Tigers scratched out a run in the top of the seventh.

Ben Scott led off with a walk, and Shepherd reached on an error.

Matt Scott was hit with a pitch, loading the bases for pinch hitter Nolan Zellman. He popped up to Johnson at short.

McCarthy singled in Ben Scott, but with the bases still loaded Logan fouled out to Williams and Schuermann lined out to Hutton on the mound.

Matson earned the win with one run on eight hits in four innings. He whiffed four.

At the plate, Matson hit 2-for 3, scoring once and driving in two runs.

Williams batted 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. 

Hougland scored three times while hitting 2-for-3.