Rockwood shocked by Harriman

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By Jason Perry

With elimination on the line, the Harriman Blue Devils upended the district leading top seeded Rockwood Tigers, 3-2, Tuesday night in the double-elimination District 3 Baseball Tournament in Wartburg.

The game was battle of pitchers with Rockwood’s Nate Brackett dueling Harriman’s Brandon Turpin.

Hitting was even with the Blue Devils finishing the game with seven while the Tigers finished with six.

In the field, Harriman had only two errors compared to four from Rockwood.

The Blue Devils got on the board early.

After Brackett struck out Bryson Willis to start the game, Turpin was walked.

Ethan Adkisson came in as a courtesy runner for Turpin and was advanced by Titan Dayton grounding out to shortstop.

Marcus Nelson hitting a looping shot into the outfield for a single to score Adkisson to make the score 1-0.

The game settled into a scoreless spell where Harriman held its lead while Rockwood attempted to get into a rhythm at the plate.

Neither team could get the advantage as base runners were stranded thanks to defensive plays from both.

The Blue Devils were able to pull a little further ahead in the fourth.

With one out, Brady Stubbs was walked.

Payton Snyder joined Stubbs on base after getting hit with a pitch.

After Austin Oliver was caught looking by Brackett for a called third strike, there were two outs on Harriman.

It looked like the inning would likely end like the previous ones.

Willis came to the plate. He hit a short ground ball and reached base thanks to a miscue in the field.

During the play, the pair of base runners were able to score to make the score 3-0.

Rockwood was able to finally answer in the bottom of the frame.

Two errors in the field by the Devils enabled Austin Orr to first reach base and then advance to second.

Gavin Evans walked and was followed by Dylan Williams with a single.

With one out and the bases loaded, Sean Freels hit a high fly ball deep into center for a sacrifice fly to score Orr to bring the score to 3-1.

After the flurry of offense from the teams in the fourth, it went back to the teams jockeying position as Harriman held its lead.

With time running out, Rockwood struck in the bottom of the seventh.

A single from Williams and Nathan Smith put two runners on base for the Tigers with one out.

A ground out from Ryan Nelson advanced the runners into scoring position with two outs.

Landon Vitatoe hit the ball deep into the hole at short for a single to bring Williams home to make the score 3-2.

With Smith on third base Rockwood couldn’t complete the rally as the next batter flew out to Willis in right field to end the game.

Turpin got the complete game win. Normally a strikeout pitcher, Turpin only tallied three in the game, allowing his defense to effectively back him up.

Brackett pitched five and two thirds inning for Rockwood. The junior pitcher allowed four hits and struck out 10 in the losing effort.

Freels came in to relieve Brackett, pitching one and third of an inning.

Williams and Smith were the leading hitters for the Tigers with two apiece.

Dayton led Harriman in hitting with two.