SMITHERS – Good teams pull out big wins when it matters.
The Sherman High baseball team pulled out a squeaker over the Bulldogs of Van in the opening round of Class A Region III, Section III action on Wednesday night in Smithers.
Aaron Lowe stroked a single in the bottom of the ninth to plate Tyler Stewart for the Tide, winners of 7 of their last 10 games.
The maroon and gold found the road to victory lined with hard-nosed play by the Bulldogs, a team they defeated a week ago 10-0. Justin Lambert took the hill for Van and Aaron Lowe for the Tide.
Both hurlers proved stingy on this night making opposing hitters earn their keep.
Lowe couldn’t find the strike zone in the first as he loaded the bases with two walks and a hit.
The Tide RB for the football team fought out of the jam by getting a couple popups and a strike-out. Van hurler Justin Lambert easily retired the top of Sherman’s order by getting two popups and a ground-out.
In the second Lowe was still searching for the strike zone while walking Ethan Acord to lead off the inning.
Jake Perry followed the walk with a hard hit ball down the third-base line. Powell scored Acord from third with a hard hit ball to short which Sherman shortstop Blake Brewer fielded to get the out at first.
Logan Crouse then hit a single up the middle scoring Perry from third. Van was not finished as Lambert came to the plate and induced an infield error on Sherman to score Crouse after he had stolen second and third.
Sherman settled down to get the speedy Brandon Elswick to hit a lazy blooper at short to end the inning. With Sherman down by three runs, Trevor Fauber, Sherman’s big DH, hit a sharp single up the middle, followed by a Dwight Kile walk and after a passed ball, Sherman had two runners in scoring position.
With two outs, frosh catcher and Tide quarterback Bailey Kirk stepped to the plate and hit a sharp single to score Fauber from third leaving runners at the corners for Senior Blake Brewer.
Brewer worked the count taking a walk knowing he had the hard hitting John Hunter on deck.
With bases loaded, Hunter smacks a hard ground ball down the first-base line to score Kile and Kirk moving Brewer to third and Hunter diving into second.
Tyler Stewart then walked once again loading the bases for Aaron Lowe but the runners were left stranded as Lambert got Lowe to pop-up to the first baseman, ending the Sherman threat.
In extra innings, fast forwarding to the ninth knotted at six, Lowe allowed two base-runners to get on in but ended the treat with a strike-out.
The Tide came to the plate in the 9th needing one run to end the game. Speedy sophomore Tyler Stewart lead off the inning with a walk, bringing up the hot hitting Lowe.
The junior slugger drove a sharp liner into center-field, temporarily freezing Stewart after Van center-fielder Phillip Powell attempts to make a diving catch but it slips under his glove sending Stewart to the races, Stewart hustled around the bases with Tide coach Jeremiah Pettry giving no stop signs and sent the speedy sophomore home.
With the relay throw on the way, Stewart slid safely into home seconds before the ball hits the catcher’s mitt, giving Sherman the hard earned 7-6 victory.
“The kids kept fighting and we found a way to win. I think winning tight games like this shows maturity for our team. We have improved since game one,” said Coach Pettry.
Van is scheduled to face Valley (Fayette) on May 15 and Sherman will play Valley on May 16 at Valley weather permitting.
Sherman - 0 3 1 0 0 0 2 0 1 - 7 12 3
Van - 0 3 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 - 6 9 3
PITCHING - Winning Pitcher: Aaron Lowe (Sherman), 9IP, 9K’s, 4 ER, Losing Pitcher: Nicky Belcher (Van) 3 1/3IP, 3ERStarting Pitcher (Van): Justin Lambert 5 2/3IP, 2ER
TIDE HITTING: John Hunter 1-4, double, 2 RBI’s, Tyler Stewart 1-4, scored winning run, Aaron Lowe 2-6, 2 doubles, 2 RBI’s, game winning hit, Jacob Barnett 2-5, double, RBI, Trevor Fauber 1-3, Cody Hartsell 1-4, Bailey Kirk 2-5, RBI and Blake Brewer 2-3, RBI.
VAN HITTING - Phillip Powell 1-3, sb, RBI, Logan Crouse 3-4, sb, RBI, Justin Lambert 1-5, RBI, Nicky Belcher 1-4, Jake Perry 3-3, 2 RBI’s
Both squads logged three defensive errors in the contest.