The Goshen baseball team received quality outings from four pitchers in their three games at Toccoa Falls College last Saturday. The triple header concluded a week-long trek across North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia where the team finished with a 5-5 record.
Sophomore southpaw Baylee Young took the mound in the Leafs first matchup with the Screaming Eagles of Toccoa Falls. Despite giving up a run early in the first inning, Young shut down the TFC offense and dealt a full seven innings, fanning three.
The fast start from Toccoa was answered right away from the Maple Leafs as junior Mitchell Wilson launched a solo home run to left field driving in the first run of the day. Freshman Evan Creager followed that up later in the second inning as he singled in the second run for the Leafs to take an early 2-1 lead.
Young buckled down and the Maple Leaf bats got hot in the third and the fourth as two sacrifice flies drove in consecutive runs putting Goshen up 5-1. The Eagles would threaten again as Joey Allen took Young deep to left in the bottom of the sixth, but that was all TFC could muster against the left. GC tacked on a final insurance run in the seventh and taking the first game by a score of 6-2.
In the afternoon game between the two teams, a pitching duel made for a quick seven innings as both teams combined for just six hits and one run. Sophomore pitcher Camm Nickell went the distance for the Leafs striking out three and allowing just four hits.
A leadoff double in the bottom of the third from the Eagles proved to be fatal for the Leafs as a single later in the inning would drive in the only run of the game.
The Goshen offense was stymied early by Eagle ace Shea Austin as he retired the first 11 batters he faced. After only getting runners aboard on walks and hit by pitches, the sixth inning was the Leafs best shot to tie the game up.
With back-to-back two out singles from sophomore Bobby Garcia and junior Colby Malson, the Leafs threatened with runners on the corners, but to no avail as Austin retired the side on a groundout.
Austin would go on to retire the last three in order as the Eagles took the second game, 1-0.
In the rubber match of a tightly contested series, the drama did not disappoint. Malson got the start for the Maple Leafs and pitched an impressive five and one third innings, striking out a pair of Eagles.
For the first time all day, the Leafs struck first as McGuire grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring Garcia. Toccoa would respond in the second with three hits, scoring one off of the bat of Jordan Mills.
Wilson drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the third for the Maple Leafs as Garcia scored his second run of the game.
Solid pitching from both sides took the game into the sixth inning with the Leafs remaining in front, 2-1. In the sixth, Malson would help his own cause with a one-out, two RBI double to left field making it at 4-1 advantage.
In the bottom half of the inning however, Joey Allen sent a two-run shot over the center field fence to narrow the Eagle deficit to just one run. Despite this, Toccoa couldn’t squander up any more runs in the sixth, and junior relief pitcher Colton Daniel closed the door on the Eagles in the final inning in order for the Leafs to take the rubber match, 4-3.
After a long road trip, the Leafs turn around for another busy weekend as they take on the University of Saint Francis in a three-game series in Fort Wayne, Indiana this weekend.