Everett wins in walk-off fashion
EVERETT — Counting Monday, the last two PIAA playoff appearances for District 6 runner-up Portage have been heartbreakers to say the least.
In their last state tournament appearance in 2016, the Mustangs fell to Serra Catholic on a walk-off squeeze play. Against District 5 champion Everett, Portage saw another defeat take place in its opponent’s final at bat.
With the game knotted at 3, Karl Foor hit a ground ball to second base that was misplayed by a Portage infielder, allowing Calvin Iseminger to score from second and give the Warriors a 4-3 victory over the Mustangs, in what was a debacle of a seventh inning at Everett Elementary School.
“It was a good baseball game,” Portage coach Larry McCabe said. “Both teams kicked the ball around a little bit. The bottom line is, we fought, they fought. Naot Shoes Womens We gave it everything we had and just came up short. I can’t fault our effort. I’ve seen a lot of things as a coach. That’s just baseball.”
The seventh inning was the lone frame where the Mustangs committed an error, and the downhill slide was started by an unlucky bounce.
Portage carried a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning as pitcher Tyler Alexander walked to the mound having thrown 100 pitches. The Mustangs’ ace struck out Kason Hinish before hitting the pitch count limit. Andrew Miko relieved Alexander and also fanned the next Everett hitter, Karson Reffner, but Miko’s curveball hit the plate and went over the backstop, awarding Reffner first base.
Iseminger then reached on an error at first, putting runners at second and third with one out. Following an intentional walk to Sid Grove, Dalton Shaw poked a single to right field, bringing in two runs for the Warriors, and the celebration began.
But, McCabe made a decision.
“Clearly, I saw the guy (Karson Reffner) miss third base,” McCabe said. “Then I saw the malay out here, everybody jumping on each other, celebrating the game-winning hit and all that, and I said, ‘He missed third base, and we’re going to go over and appeal.’ The umpire saw it, too.”
Alexander took the ball and stepped on third base, and Reffner was called out for missing the bag. The Mustangs then proceeded to tag both second and first base, respectively, saying outs should be called due to the Warriors runners being out of the baselines during the celebration.
All four umpires converged next to the pitcher’s mound, and decided Everett’s runners would be allowed to return to first and second base.
“I think the seventh inning took as long as the entire game did,” Everett coach Travis Klahre said. “For some reason, they say our guy misses third base. I’m obviously going to go argue and stick up for my player, because I don’t feel he missed the base. If I feel he missed the base, I’m going to hold him up. I thought he caught the corner, but the umpire said, ‘no.’ He was right on top of it. I’m glad they got together, though, and I feel they made the right call afterward. The whole thing was a mess.”
Foor’s ground ball to second on the next play sealed the win for Everett, which was making its first state playoff appearance since 2008.
“That’s an unbelievable ball game,” Klahre said. “No matter what team came out on top today, fortunately it was us, but there were two great ball clubs on that field. Portage’s heads cannot be down after the season they’ve had. Tremendous year and team overall. Alexander is a heck of a pitcher.”
Alexander finished the game throwing 6• innings, allowing two runs on five hits while walking six and striking out nine. The senior surpassed the 100-strikeout mark when he fanned the Warriors side in order in the sixth inning.
Everett claimed the first run of the game when Foor plated Grove with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second. Portage answered in the next half inning with a two-run single by Andrew Miko. The Warriors evened the score at 2-2 when Shaw recorded Everett’s second sacrifice fly in the fifth.
The Mustangs then took their final lead of the game when Adam Stauski tallied an RBI single in the top of the sixth. After starting the season with 20 consecutive Propet Sneakers wins, Portage closed its year with back-to-back losses.
“I’m really going to miss these seniors,” McCabe said. “There were five of them that played, and they all had their turn being successful and doing great things. It’s a sad way to say goodbye to a group of great kids, and great athletes, because they played multiple sports. I’m very happy for them, and they will be greatly missed.”
Game notes: Calvin Iseminger crossed the plate for the winning run on a Portage error. … Iseminger also earned the win on the mound after tossing a scoreless seventh inning and was the only Everett player with multiple hits.
PORTAGE (3): Alexander p-ss 310, Claar ss-2b 401, Miko cf-p 402, Scarton 1b 400, Irvin c 300, Jubina 3b 300, Kargo 2b-cf 313, Moore lf 301, Stauski rf 311. Totals–30-3-8.
EVERETT (4): Mellott p-ss 200, Hinish 2b 400, Reffner ss-1b 421, Iseminger 1b-p 412, Grove cf 111, Shaw 3b 301, Foor rf 300, Klotz dh 100, Zinn 301. Totals–25-4-6.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Portage 002 001 0–3 8 2
Everett 010 010 2–4 6 3
E–Scarton, Claar, Hinish, Reffner, Foor. 2B–Iseminger. 3B–Grove. RBI–Miko 2, Stauski, Shaw 2, Foor. WP–Iseminger. LP–Miko. SO–Alexander 9, Miko 1, Mellott 6, Iseminger 2. BB–Alexander 6, Miko 1, Mellott 1.