Talbots rally late to knock Chargers from unbeaten ranks

Posted 3/29/19

PITTSBORO — As New York Yankees’ legend Yogi Berra once said about the game of baseball, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

After trailing Hampton (PA) since the first inning, Northwood …

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Talbots rally late to knock Chargers from unbeaten ranks

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PITTSBORO — As New York Yankees’ legend Yogi Berra once said about the game of baseball, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

After trailing Hampton (PA) since the first inning, Northwood rallied in the bottom of the sixth to take a two-run lead only to have the Talbots plate four runs in the top of the seventh without the benefit of a hit and literally walk away with a 6-4 triumph over the previously-undefeated Chargers Friday night at The Ronald Horton Baseball Complex.

The visitors from Allison Park, PA were playing their season-opener on a spring break trip to North Carolina, while Northwood suffered its first loss in nine outings.

Hampton starter Casey Marshalwitz, who has committed to pitch for Youngstown (OH) State next year, hurled six innings to gain the victory, giving up four hits and four runs (three earned) while walking one and fanning 10.

Talbots’ reliever Brendan Erka came on to pitch the final frame and struck out a pair while retiring the side in order to earn a save.

Michael Posse, the Chargers’ third and final pitcher of the evening, was saddled with the defeat after giving up four unearned runs while issuing five free passes and whiffing one in his one inning on the hill.

Luke Popp opened on the mound for Northwood and went four innings, allowing four hits and two runs (one earned) in addition to striking out half a dozen batters.

The Chargers’ Justin Szczy-pinski tossed two scoreless innings in relief and gave up two hits besides walking one.

“Pitching and heads-up base running were the keys to our win,” stated Hampton coach Kellen Wheeler. “I thought Casey Marshalwitz gave us an excellent effort on the mound, with 73 percent (66-of-91) of his pitches going for strikes, before Brendan Erka secured the victory by setting Northwood down 1-2-3 in the seventh. Something we need to clean up is stranding people on base, as we left seven runners in scoring position, but I was pleased how we capitalized on overthrows in the field to advance guys on base.”

Chargers’ coach David Miller remarked it was a tough loss after watching his team battle back from an early deficit to put itself on the brink of a come-from-behind victory.

“That was a very good team in the other dugout, and it was good to see our guys compete until the end,” said Miller.

“We scrapped to push across three runs in the bottom of the sixth to give ourselves a chance to win, and I would have liked to see the seventh inning go a little differently but Hampton took advantage of what we gave them to pull out the win. It all came down to execution, and mistakes on our part cost us the game.”

The Talbots grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Marshalwitz led off the frame by dashing all the way to second on a throwing error and scored one out later when Burke Camper stroked an opposite-field triple to the fence in right.

Hampton increased its advantage to 2-0 in the visitors’ fourth when Jon Ibinson led off the inning by belting a first-pitch offering from Popp over the left field fence.

Northwood trimmed its deficit to 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth as Beau Weathers rapped a one-out opposite-field double down the left field line, moved to third on a wild pitch and tallied when Landon Johnson lofted a sacrifice fly to left.

After the Talbots loaded the bases with one away in the top of the sixth but came away empty-handed when Szczypinski retired the next two batters on a pop-up and a fly-out, the Chargers struck for three runs in their half of the inning to surge in front 4-2.

Quin Powell opened the Northwood sixth with an infield single before Brandon Crabtree reached on a fielder’s choice when Hampton muffed an attempt to force Powell out at second.

One out later Tyler Johnson was plunked by a pitch to load the sacks, and following a walk to Posse that brought in Quin Powell, Deuce Powell grounded a two-run base hit down the third base line.

But the Talbots would retaliate their last turn at-bat as Marshalwitz led off the frame with a full-count base on balls and went to second on a wild pitch prior to scoring when Tyler Bischke raced all the way to second on an infield error.

Back-to-back free passes issued to Camper and Sean Mikulan then loaded the bases before Ibinson lined into a double play that removed Mikulan from first.

With Hampton down to its last out, Posse attempted to pick Bischke off third, but his throw was high and sailed down the left field line, allowing both Bischke and Camper to sprint home and put the Talbots ahead for good.

Hampton then proceeded to add an insurance run when Adam Stroud drew a walk and came all the way around to score on three consecutive wild pitches to account for the final margin.


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