Wickliffe slips past John Ford Rhodes 7-6 Blue Devils move to 2-0 with win
BY TIMOTHY W. SHIRER SPORTS EDITOR The bottom line in sports on the field is winning. On Wednesday afternoon at Wickliffe's Coulby Park the Wickliffe Blue Devils defeated the John Ford Rhodes Rams 7-6. For the Blue Devils it was a win, not the prettiest win, but a win.
Wickliffe fell behind early in the first inning 1-0. Once again as they did against Harvey the day before the Blue Devils came right back to tie the game in the bottom of the first inning. Junior Tommy Stephens walked to lead off the inning, he moved to second on a passed ball. Stephens eventually came home when Junior Ethan Nobbe hit a long sacrifice fly to right field.
With one out in the bottom of the second inning sophomore Anthony Gray blasted a double down the left field line. Senior Nimesh Shah then followed with a single and Gray moved to third base. Gray came home when the next batter Junior TJ Ponzani hit a sacrifice fly ball to the left fielder. The Blue Devils now led 2-1 as the inning ended when Stephens struck out swinging.
The Rams came right back in the top of the third to tie the game with the help of two errors by Wickliffe. Wickliffe starting pitcher Anthony Janosky walked the leadoff hitter in the inning, but promptly picked him off first base.
Once again the Blue Devils came right back in the bottom of the third inning with two runs to take a 4-2 lead. Junior Matt Sherlock led off the inning with a walk and then stole second base with Janosky at the plate. Janosky helped his own cause one pitch later when he doubled to right field and Sherlock crossed the plate with Wickliffe's third run. Janosky advanced to third base on the play when the Rams right fielder dropped the ball after picking it up. Nobbe then drew a walk and with Joe Kleinhenz at the plate the Rams pitcher uncorked a wild pitch, Janosky scored Wickliffe's fourth run and Nobbe advanced to second base. Kleinhenz then reached on an error by the first baseman and Nobbe moved to third. But the next three Wickliffe hitters were retired and the lead remained 4-3 at the end of three innings.
The Rams briefly regained the lead in the top of the fourth inning 5-4 courtesy of four hits and a big Wickliffe error.
But the never quit attitude of the young Blue Devils showed through again in the bottom of the fourth when they tied the game at 5-5, when with one out Stephens singled in the infield. He moved to second on a ground out by Sherlock. Stephens came home when the next hitter Janosky belted a singled to center field. The inning ended when Nobbe grounded out to third base.
John Ford Rhodes went back on top 6-5 in the top of the fifth inning courtesy of three singles, two of them infield dribblers. The inning was the last for Wickliffe hurler Janosky. Janosky went five innings giving up six runs, five earned on ten hits. Janosky walked two Rams hitters and struck out seven.
The Blue Devils came back for the final time in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Blue Devils got two runs in the innings courtesy of two errors which allowed Kleinhenz and senior Nick Ranallo to reach base. Ponzani singled in the infield with two out and the game tied 6-6 to drive in Ranallo putting the Blue Devils ahead for good 7-6.
Stephens finished the game on the mound for Wickliffe pitching two scoreless innings. Janosky got the win and is now 1-0.
The Blue Devils will attempt to move to 3-0 on Monday at 4:30 when they take on the Hawken Hawks at Coulby Park in Wickliffe. firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Tim on Twitter @TimothyShirer POSTED 03/28/2012 23:01