Flyers rally in 9th to nip Vikings

Published 11:59 pm Friday, May 6, 2022

By Jim Walker

Who said baseball isn’t exciting?

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In a tight game for eight innings that turned into a frenzy finish as the St. Joseph Flyers rallied for 5 runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to edge the Symmes Valley Vikings 8-7 in a Southern Ohio Conference game on Thursday.

“It was one of the more exciting games I’ve been involved with,” said Flyers’ coach Greg Bryant. “It looked like they were going to win in the ninth, but we fought back and caught a break and took advantage of it.”

St. Joseph is now 18-2 on the season and finishes 12-2 in the SOC. The Vikings are now 13-2 and still lead the SOC at 11-1.

The game was tied 3-3 after 7 innings and neither team scored in the eighth. The ninth inning saw the Vikings get 4 runs to take a 7-3 lead.

Brayden Webb led off with a base hit, stole second and went to third on a ground out. Aiden Hieronimus then singled Webb home for the lead.

Josh Saunders was hit by a pitch and Levi Niece doubled home pinch-runner Will Jones. Ethan Patterson grounded out to first base leaving runners at second and third and Logan Justice reached on an error as both runners scored.

But then came the winning rally in the bottom of the inning.

Wesley Neal walked leading off the bottom of the inning. Mark Hodges was hit by a pitch, Landon Rowe hit into a force play at second to put runners on the corners.

Kai Coleman singled to score Neal and Rowe went to third. Brady “Q” Medinger blooped a base hit as Rowe scored and Coleman went to third. Medinger stole second and an out later Stuntebeck reached on catcher’s interference to load the bases.

Michael Mahlmeister reached on an error as 2 runs scored and Stuntebeck went to third. But on the throw to third in an effort to cut down Stuntebeck, the throw got away and Stuntebeck raced home with the winning run.

The comeback gave Drew Brown the win in relief. He gave up 3 hits, 4 runs, 2 earned, fanned one, walked one and hit one in 2 innings.

Stuntebeck — who reached his pitch count limit allowed — worked 7 innings allowing 7 hits, 3 earned runs with 11 strikeouts, 6 walks and a balk.

“Stuntebeck pitched really well. Symmes Valley has a nice team and some good hitters throughout their lineup. He did a good job against them,” said Bryant.

“I have to tip my hat to Webb. He pitched a nice game and he pitched well enough to win.”

Webb also reached his pitch count limit in 8.2 innings of work. He gave up 7 hits, 7 runs of which 3 were earned, struck out 10, walked 3, hit 2 and had 2 wild pitches.

The Vikings got a run in the second when Levi Niece walked, stole second and scored on a hit by Tanner McComas.

Symmes Valley added a run in the third on a walk to Justice, an error, a bunt single by Best and a 2-out single by Levi Niece.

St. Joseph tied the game in the fifth with one out.

Neal was hit by a pitch, Hodges singled and Landon Rowe singled in a run. Hodges went to third on an outfield error and scored when Coleman hit a sacrifice fly.

The Flyers took a 3-2 lead in the sixth when Elijah Rowe and Stuntebeck reached on errors.

The Vikings tied the game in the top of the seventh when Caden Brammer singled and Webb tripled. Symmes Valley loaded the based but Stuntebeck got 3 strikeouts kill the rally.

Medinger was 2-4 with a double and RBI for the Flyers, Coleman 1-3 with 2 RBI Stuntebeck 1-4, Hodges 1-3, Landon Rowe 1-3 with an RBI, and Elijah Rowe and Mahlmeister 1-5.

The Vikings had 10 hits with Webb 2-4, a triple and RBI and Justice 2-4 with a double. Levi Best and Levi Niece were 1-4, Luke Niece 1-4 with a double and RBI, Brammer and Hieronimus 1-5 and McComas 1-3.

Symmes Valley 011 000 104 = 7 10 7

St. Joseph        000 021 005 = 8 8 5

Brayden Webb, Mason Stevenson (9) and Nick Strow. Blake Stuntebeck, Drew Brown (8) and Michael Mahlmeister. W-Brown (IP-2.0, H-3, R-4, ER-2, K-1, BB-1, HBP-1). Stuntebeck (IP-7.0, H-7, R-3, ER-3, K-11, BB-6, Balk-1). L-Stevenson  (IP-0.0, R-1, ER-0, K-0, BB-0). Webb (IP-8.2, H-7, R-7, ER-3, K-10, BB-3, HBP-2, WP-2). Hitting-SV: Levi Best 1-4, Caden Brammer 1-5, Brayden Webb 2-4 3B RBI, Levi Niece 1-4 RBI, Aiden Hieronimus 1-5 RBI, Tanner McComas 1-3 RBI, Luke Niece 1-4 2B RBI, Logan Justice 2-4 2B; St.J: Kai Coleman 1-3 2-RBI, Brady Medinger 2-5 2B RBI, Elijah Rowe 1-5, Blake Stuntebeck 1-4, Michael Mahlmeister 1-5, Mark Hodges 1-3, Landon Rowe 1-3 RBI.