May 15, 2008
ML Playoff Game 2
Baker Printing: 4
Haganís Funeral Homes: 7
Big Inning Propels Haganís
Martin, Leonard Lead Rally
Baker Printing and Haganís Funeral Homes squared off Tuesday night in a sizzling first round playoff game for both teams. Haganís rode a big fifth inning to a come-from-behind 7-4 victory.
Baker sprinted from the gate, posting four runs before Haganís could produce a single base runner. Baker scored one in the first on singles by Nate Engleka and Danny Healey. It looked like they might go for more, but Haganís starter, Brian Gross (4.2 IP, 8 K, 2 BB) stranded runners on second and third on two consecutive strikeouts. Haganís went down in order in the bottom of the first with Baker starter Engleka keeping the Hagan hitters off balance as he did for much of the night. Baker posted three more tallies in the top of the second. Ashton Raines (2 for 3) and Steve Weyler led off the inning with singles. With runners on second and third and one run already in, Bobby Ieradi drove a ball to the fence in deep right field. Hagan right fielder Will van Norden made a spectacular, over-the-shoulder running catch at the warning track, robbing Ieradi of what looked like a sure extra base hit. Weyler alertly tagged and scored from third on the play. Healey then smashed a hard grounder to short, scoring Engleka for the third and final run of the inning.
Haganís got on the board in the bottom of the second when Connor Martin (2 for 2, HR, BB, RBI) led off with a walk and scored when Bryan Leonard (2 for 3, 2 doubles, 2 RBI) lashed a double down the right field line.
There was no further scoring until the bottom of the fourth inning when Haganís, trailing 4-1 entering the inning, exploded for 5 runs on as many hits. Martin again led off and reached base, this time on a single. That was followed by an Ethan Heller single and another Leonard RBI double. After Russell Rhoads drew a walk, Gross helped his own cause by looping a 2-RBI single to left. Michael Solomon finished the scoring in the inning with another 2-RBI single.
Haganís pitching took care of the rest, but not before Martin added an insurance run, taking the first pitch in the bottom of the fifth inning deep over the left-center fence for his third home run of the season. Rhoads came on in relief with 2 out in the fifth when Gross reached his pitch count limit. Rhoads was nearly flawless, facing just 5 Baker batters. Although Matt Divis (2 for 2, 2B) led off the sixth with a single, Rhoads turned out the lights on the always-dangerous top of the Baker order to preserve the 7-4 victory for Haganís.