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(Updated 6:25 p.m.) Rohrs' two home runs help Northwood's baseball team post regional semifinal win (5-30-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor   
Thursday, 30 May 2013 17:03
Northwood coaches Rob Rohrs (left) and Dave Russell celebrate after defeating Delphos St. John's in Thursday's game. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
HAMLER — Two solo home runs from Justin Rohrs and a gutty pitching performance by Nick Russell has put Northwood within one win of a semifinal berth in the Division IV state baseball tournament. PHOTO GALLERY
Sparked by Rohrs and Russell, the Rangers slipped past Delphos St. John’s, 4-3 Thursday afternoon in a regional semifinal at Patrick Henry High School.
The Rangers, now 19-10, plays Tinora for the regional title and a berth in the state semifinals Friday at 2 p.m. at Patrick Henry. The game time was changed from 5 p.m. because of possible rain showers later Friday.
The Rangers made their only state semifinal appearance in 1991.
‘‘It was one of those things where our seniors stepped up again today,’’ Northwood head coach Dave Russell said. ‘‘We struggled in the beginning, it was a little bit of nerves.
‘‘Our senior pitcher (Russell) kind of found his groove there and kept us in the game and then Rohrs had the game of his life, hitting two bombs out to right field; that’s tough to do.’’
Russell had a rough start to the game, giving up two runs in the first inning and leaving the bases loaded in both the first and second innings. St. John’s left a total of 11 runners on base.
But Russell battled to the end to earn the win. Russell allowed six hits and two walks. He hit four batters and threw three wild pitches while striking out 10.
‘‘As the game went on, I got a lot more comfortable,’’ Nick Russell said.
Russell was having problems with his curve ball early, but said once he found the right arm angle, he said he felt comfortable throwing the curve from the third inning on.
In the first inning the Blue Jays scored twice, despite having only one hit. Russell walked one and hit two batters in the first and the Rangers made an error. St. John’s first run scored on a wild pitch and the second came home on the error.
‘‘He (Nick Russell) might have been going a little bit quick. He just wants to go, go, go,’’ coach Russell said. ‘‘He wants to get in there and throw strikes. We just have to slow him down, calm him down a little bit.
‘‘We got out of that (first inning) very cheap,’’ coach Russell added.
‘‘I’ve always been told to never give up and that’s it’s a seven inning game, not one inning,’’ Nick Russell said. ‘‘I just kept throwing and good things happen.’’
Northwood countered with a run in the bottom of the first. Evan Perkins reached on a walk to start the inning and John Segura bunted for a single. Perkins would later score on a wild pitch.
‘‘We took the edge off a little bit. Scoring on that pitcher ... We knew it was going to be tough to get runs on him,’’ coach Russell said.
Segura’s bunt was Northwood’s only hit until Rohrs led off the fourth inning, hitting a 3-1 pitch over the right field fence, to tie the game. A right-handed batter, both of Rohrs’ homers went to the opposite field.
‘‘He hits to all fields with power,’’ coach Russell said about Rohrs, who now has six home runs this season.
Rohrs’ second homer came on a first-pitch fastball as he again led off the inning in the sixth.
‘‘I went to him and told him, ‘don’t be afraid to go to that right side again if he gives you a fastball right off the bat, take it out to right field again,’’ coach Russell said.
Rohrs was mobbed by his teammates at home plate as the home run gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead.
Rohrs said he was expecting a curveball, but he got a fastball on the outside corner of the plate and was able to drive it out of the park.
Myles Habel followed with a single and Jacob Davenport reached on a error. Curtis Geise, the Blue Jays starter, then hit Brandon Hoffman to load the bases. It appeared Hoffman was attempting to bunt when he was hit by the pitch, but the umpires ruled he was entitled to first base.
After a strike out, Geise hit Jordan Schell, the No. 9 hitter in the order, to force in Habel, with what turned out to be an important insurance run.
Geise got out of the inning with a strike out and a ground ball back to the mound.
In the top of the seventh, Russell got the first out as he caught a well-hit line drive right back at him.
Andrew Metzger reached on a single, but Russel got a fielder’s choice ground ball for the second out.
However, T.J. Hoersten reached on an error and Drew Wagner’s base hit scored Clay Courtney to pull the Blue Jays to within, 4-3.
Russell then got a strike out to end the inning.
‘‘They gave me two runs (in the sixth), I just knew I had to finish it,’’ Nick Russell said.
Rohrs will have less than 24 hours to enjoy the victory as he will get the start in the regional final.
‘‘I didn’t expect to pitch,’’ Rohrs said. ‘‘Jake Davenport, he’s one of our good pitchers. We thought he was our (number) two coming in.
‘‘It’s an honor, but I have to go out there and do my thing.’’
Rohrs is 5-0 with a 2.98 ERA with 50 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings.
Delphos St. John's finishes 11-15.

DSJ    200    000    1—3    6   
NORTHWOOD 100    102    X—4    4    3
HITS — (DSJ) Buescher 2, Geise, Warnecke, Metzger, Wagner; (N) Rohrs 2, Segura, Habel. HR — (N) Rohrs 2. RUNS — (DSJ) Buescher, Warnecke, Courtney; (N) Rohrs 2, Perkins, Habel. RBI — (DSJ) Wagner; (N) Rohrs 2, Schell. SAC — (N) Davenport. HBP — (DSJ) Buescher (by Russell), Metzger (by Russell), Courtney (by Russell), Wagner (by Russell); (N) Hoffman (by Geise), Schell (by Geise).  LOB — Delphos St. John’s 11. Northwood 7.

IP    H    R    ER    BB    SO
Geise (LP, 7-2)    6    4    4    3    4    6
Russell (WP, 7-3)    7    6    3    1    2    10
Last Updated on Friday, 31 May 2013 09:56

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