Niagara Gazette

Sports

May 2, 2013

High School Reports: Starpoint baseball wins thriller

Niagara Gazette — Chris Cribbs snuck under the tag at home plate and the Starpoint baseball team celebrated an 11-10 comeback win in eight innings over visiting ECIC II rival Hamburg on Wednesday at Thomas J. Sarkovics Field.

Cribbs drew a seemingly harmless walk with two outs in the bottom of the eighth and the bases clear. But junior shortstop Alex O'Donnell made the Bulldogs pay, drilling a triple to the right field fence and knocking in Cribbs in walk-off fashion. It was sweet revenge against the Bulldogs, who beat Starpoint 6-5 on April 15 by way of walk-off home run.

The Spartans trailed by as many as five, and were down 10-6 heading into their final at-bats.

Leadoff hitter Stan Speaker started the comeback with a single and promptly stole second. Cribbs reach on an error, putting runners on the corners for O'Donnell, who knocked both in with a double and ended up scoring on a pair of fielding errors. Senior Andrew Rankie followed with a double of his own, went to third on Brett Guay's groundout and scored on Jimmy Janeczo's RBI double.

"There have only been a couple walk-offs I've been a part of on the winning side," Starpoint coach Tim Racey said. "This is the kind of win where you want to keep the scorebook and look back and remember being there."

Cribbs got the start on the mound, but was hit hard in 3 1/3 innings. Junior lefty Andrew Merchison took the mound in relief, his first time on the hill at the varsity level. Merchison earned the win, striking out two of 16 batters faced, giving up only one hit and one earned run.

First time pitcher junior Andrew Merchison (lefty) came in with one outs in the fourth, faced 16 batters, struck out 2, walked two, 1 H, 1 ER

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