ELYRIA — One out is all that Elyria needed.
Elyria East led Tallmadge by two runs and was just one out away from a win in Wednesday night’s Little League District 3 10U baseball tournament when the roof caved in.
After recording two outs on two pitches, the next 11 Tallmadge hitters reached and scored as it pulled away for a
16-8 win to send East into the losers bracket. Elyria, which led 7-5 when disaster struck, will play again Monday at 6 p.m. against an undetermined opponent with the game scheduled to be played at Elyria East’s Vic Janowicz Memorial Park.
“I’m really proud of the boys,” said Elyria East coach Nate Snyder. “We battled back and kept our heads up, but we just couldn’t get that last out to end the sixth inning.”
The game looked lost for the East All-Stars after Tallmadge sent eight batters to the plate in the fourth inning, scoring four times to take a 5-1 lead as starting pitcher Seth Yacobucci held Elyria in check by allowing just one hit in the first four innings.
East was its own worst enemy with four errors in the inning. The only RBI of the inning for Tallmadge came on a squeeze bunt by Evan Hopkins.
The score stayed there until the bottom of the fifth inning when Elyria East took advantage of four Tallmadge errors, scoring six runs and taking a 7-5 lead.
Clayton Peloquin led off and was hit by a pitch, and came around to score on a wild pitch as Tommy Dillinger singled and Evan Smith walked.
Levi Ellis had the second of his three hits with a bunt that saw the Tallmadge pitcher throw the ball away, scoring another run and advancing the runners.
An error on a ball put in play by Jordan Lamb resulted in two more runs for Elyria, and the final run came home when Jacob Gales put the ball in play to second base and the Tallmadge player threw the ball away, giving East an improbable lead despite totaling just three hits through five innings.
Gales took the mound in the sixth inning and got a great diving catch in short right by Ellis and a ground out to third on the first two pitches, leaving Tallmadge with just one out left in the game.
That proved to be a tough out for Elyria to collect.
Ethan Shanan kept the game alive with a triple to right field, but the next batter sent a flare to short right where it looked like Ellis would end the game. But three players came together and the ball was knocked out of his glove, sending Shanan home.
That’s when the hit parade kicked into high gear. Tallmadge loaded the bases and then promptly unloaded them on Hopkins’ second triple of the night.
Another error was followed by Yacobucci (3-for-5, two runs, two RBIs) drilling a ball into the right-field corner for a two-run homer to make it 13-7.
Shanan and Beau Gromley provided the final runs for Tallmadge with run-scoring hits, before Ellis finally got a ground out to end the inning.
“We had that two-run lead and got the first two outs, and I thought we had this one,” Gales said. “We gave up a couple hits and made a few errors. It just started to snowball and we couldn’t stop it.”
Contact James Brady at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.