Trumbull beats Mahoning with big seventh inning
NILES — In a game that pitted Mahoning County’s and Trumbull County’s best baseball players against each other, Trumbull County won, 9-6, in the fifth annual High School Valley All-Star Classic at Eastwood Field.
Mahoning looked to be in control for most of the game. They would lead 6-0 through three-and-a-half innings. An RBI double by Mahoning MVP Kole Klasic of Austintown Fitch got them moving in the third.
Trumbull got its first run in the bottom of the third as Niles’ Marco DeFalco scored after he singled to cut the lead to 6-1.
An RBI single by Chalker’s Zach Regal cut the deficit to 6-2 in favor of Mahoning in the top of the sixth. Everything changed in the bottom of the seventh inning.
“We were struggling to score runs for a little bit. Before I went out to pitch, we broke it open and took the lead,” Howland’s Dylan Keller said. “That gives any pitcher a lot of confidence to be able to go and pitch with the lead.”
In the seventh, Trumbull County exploded for some runs — a lot of runs actually. It started with a walk to Mathews’ Chris Ritz. Champion’s Drake Batcho walked, and then Champion’s AJ Meyer knocked a two-RBI double to cut the deficit to 6-4 in favor of Mahoning County.
Lakeview’s Daniel Brammer singled after that and Keller knocked in Meyer to cut the lead to 6-5.
Lakeview’s Justin Grove was hit by a pitch and then DeFalco singled in Brammer for a 6-6 tie. An RBI groundout by Brookfield’s Jacob Ratcliff gave them a 7-6 lead.
Finally, Liberty’s David Sewell hit a two-RBI single to give Trumbull a 9-6 lead.
“Just how I drew it up,” said Trumbull County and Champion coach Rick Yauger. “Just how I drew it up. You try to have an idea of how things will come together. If I had the chance to get kids a second at-bat, I knew who I wanted it to be. We batted a continuous lineup but we stacked the top of the lineup up to give them another chance.”
Ratcliff’s and Sewell’s RBIs were the runs that put Trumbull over the top for good.
“I was just looking for a fastball basically,” Sewell said. ” I knew that in an 0-2 count he was going to throw me junk. I just had to stay patient and adjust. We let them think they were going to win and then we took it back.”
Keller got the win with a great eighth inning. Then, DeFalco came on in the ninth to strikeouts all three batters to secure the win.
“He (Yauger) is a great coach and he knows what he is doing,” DeFalco said. “The guys fought back and that put a lot less weight on me and Dylan. We just went in there and did what we have done all year long. Hopefully I’ll get used to the field when I’m at (Youngstown State University) next year.”