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  • Writer's picturetgardner1167

North pulls out W in extra innings

Williamsville North’s Griffin Green delivered big time Friday night in the Spartans 8-7 come from behind win over visiting Orchard Park. Green hit a two-run double in the bottom of the eighth to erase a 7-6 Quaker lead improving North’s record to 2-1 in the ECIC I division.

It was a cold afternoon but the Spartans bats were red hot as they collected 13 hits in the contest.

“It’s good to be outside again,” North head coach Max Zimmerman said after the win. “Playing baseball is what all these guys love to do and it felt good to get back out here.”

North jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after the first inning but gave that up to Orchard Park an inning later, and then some. After a scoreless third, OP picked up three runs in the top of the 4th inning. With two men on, Ben Shoop knocked in the go ahead run with his single and Jake Johnson followed up with a hit that scored Jacob Gawronski (walked) and Shoop, giving the Quakers their first lead of the day 6-3.

Not to be out done the Spartans responded in the bottom half of the inning. North’s first 2 batters drew walks. After Joey Battaglia’s sacrifice fly, Cam Zurat blasted a two-run single to close the gap to one run. But moments later Jake Tuholski singled to center that brought Zurat home to score, tying the game 6-6.

Jordan Prince came in to stop the bleeding for the Quakers and after giving up a walk to the first batter he faced, responded with two strikeouts to end the inning. He pitched well through the 7th inning with only giving up one hit, a hard ground ball to the infield that could have easily been scored an error.

Jordan Prince shutting down @wnorthbaseball big bats Top 5. 6-6 @OPVarBaseball coming to bat. — Frank Wolf (@wolf3328) April 20, 2018

After three scoreless innings OP’s Josh Higgins hit a leadoff triple in the 8th inning. Gawronski then hit a sac fly to centerfield to put the Quakers back out in front 7-6.

In the bottom of the 8th facing a new pitcher, Williamsville North’s Zurat hit a one out single to left to help fuel another Spartans rally. Tuholski hit a double to left that advanced Zurat to third. Bryan Aduddle reached first on an error a batter later. The next batter was Green and his second hit of the game brought in the winning run.

“See the ball hit the ball,” Green said after the game. “I just tried to get a hit.”

Tuholski picked up four hits for North extending his hitting streak to three games and improving his overall batting average to .667.

Chuck Senn was making his OP debut as head coach as Jim Gibson stepped down this week for personal reasons. “We fought back today early, we responded as a team, played as a team,” Senn said after the game. “We’re young and we have some tough challenges ahead but if we play like we did today we’ll be fine. We grew today.”

OP’s record stands at 1-1-1, they tied Haamburg. They will face a very tough Clarence team Saturday, while Williamsville North (2-1) host Lancaster.

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