It had everything you wanted in a baseball game. Two city rivals, excellent weather (although a little on the warm side) and everything on the line – winner moves on, loser goes home.
So it was only fitting that a game like this would come down to the very end and end in dramatic fashion. Huron broke a 2-2 tie with a walk-off winning run in the bottom of the seventh to knock out rival Pioneer 3-2 in a District opening game on Tuesday at Saline High School.
The River Rats will face Ypsilanti at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 2 in a semifinal game at Saline HS. On the other side of the bracket, Belleville played Ypsilanti Lincoln with the winner playing the host Hornets in the other semifinal game. The finals are at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
In the bottom of the seventh inning with one out and the game tied at 2-2, Steel Hurley singled to right field. Scotty White then bunted and reached first while pushing Hurley and the potential winning run to second base.
Still with one out and two runners on base and Ben Chosid at the plate for the River Rats, Hurley took third on an error and ended up scoring the winning run on the play to give Huron the win.
Pioneer opened the scoring with two runs in the top of the fourth inning. Justin Lee doubled to leftfield to score Eric Steinhauer, who led off the inning with a single to center. After John Creal singled, Lee scored the Pioneer’s second run on an error.
The River Rats answered in the bottom of the fourth. Clayton Skinner walked and a sacrifice and ground out moved him to third. Skinner scored the River Rats’ first run on a single to center by Charlie Kotila. Fred Ezenylimb then singled, scoring Kotila to tie the game at 2-2.
Skinner was on the hill for Huron and the senior had his AA game working. He allowed just four hits and two runs over seven innings, striking out three and walking one while tossing 96 pitches.
Justin Lee, Hazen Westover, Eric Steinhauer, and John Creal had hits for the Pioneers.
Ben Stidham was on the mound for Pioneer and allowed nine hits and three runs over six and a third innings, striking out three and walking one.
Huron had nine hits in the game. Robert Hurley was 2-for-4 with a run scored; Charlie Kotila was 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI; and Ben Chosid was 2-for-3. Scotty White, Hayden Glover and Fred Ezenylimb (one RBI) each had one hit for the River Rats.