Orion baseball scores comeback win in regional semifinal

Mindy Carls
The throw to Charger catcher B.J. Zahniser is just a little behind the runner scoring the Wildcats’ first run in the first inning on Thursday, May 19, when Orion and Galva-Williamsfield met in the regional semifinal at Toulon.

After falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, Orion charged back for a 4-2 win over Galva-Williamsfield in baseball regional semifinals on Thursday, May 19, in Toulon.

The win advanced the Chargers to the championship game against the Annawan-Wethersfield Titans on Friday, May 20.

After the Chargers went down in order in the top of the first, Galva-Williamsfield led off the bottom of the frame with a single into left field. The runner stole second, went to third on a fielder’s choice and eventually scored.

Meanwhile, the batter who hit into the fielder’s choice was safe at first. He went to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a double to the fence in center field.

In the second, Orion’s Travis Anderson walked and stole second with one out, but he was stranded.

When the Wildcats came to the plate in their half of the second, the first batter grounded out to Trevor Peterson at short.

The next hitter blasted a single up the third base line, and the third batter smashed another single into left field.

When the next hitter popped up, Peterson caught the ball for one out and whipped it to  Kaleb Hougland at second to complete the double play.

The Chargers picked up their first run in the top of the fourth. Leading off, Peterson walked on a 3-2 pitch. Clean-up hitter Drew Amador moved him along on a groundout.

Anderson singled over the leaping pitcher, and the ball went deep enough into center field to score Peterson.

With the 7-8-9 batters coming to the plate, the Wildcats went down in order in the bottom of the fourth. Pitcher Kyle Hoffman struck out the first batter. The next two grounded out to Amador at third.

Charger catcher B.J. Zahniser opened the fifth inning with a single into center.

Andy Adams laid down a sacrifice bunt to move courtesy runner Brady Hancock to second.

The next two batters flied out to the center fielder.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Wildcats were back at the top of the order. The leadoff hitter put the ball in play up the middle, and what looked like a single took a bad bounce for the Chargers and went into center field.

With a runner on second, the next batter executed a sacrifice bunt to move the Wildcat on to third.

Hoffman whiffed the next two batters to end the inning.

Orion tied the game 2-2 in the top of the sixth. Down 0-2 in the count,

Peterson crushed the ball down the third base line into left field. The left fielder threw to second, but Peterson got there before the ball.

Amador worked the count to 3-2 before singling into left center to bring Peterson across the plate with the tying run.

The next batter put down a bunt, only to have the Wildcats turn a double play. Orion’s next hitter grounded out.

Galva-Williamsfield went down in order in the bottom of the sixth. The first batter struck out struck out, the second batter flied out to Matt Markezich in right field, and the third batter grounded out to Hoffman.

With the game still tied in the top of the seventh, Zahnister crushed a line drive up the third base line with one out.

Adams bunted the first pitch he saw to move courtesy runner Hancock to second.

With two outs, Hougland walked. Hoffman smashed the ball to the third baseman, and the Wildcats should have been out of the inning, but an errant throw to first left Hancock and Hougland score and Hoffman reach second.

The next batter struck out to end the inning.

Orion carried a 4-2 lead into the bottom half of the seventh. A pinch hitter grounded out to Peterson at shortstop, but another pinch hitter singled into center field.

The next batter grounded out to Hoffman on the mound.

Galva-Williamsfield’s next hitter singled. With two runners on and two out, the fifth Wildcat to come to the plate grounded out to Peterson.