Manhattan’s commanding 12-2 win over Highland Park in Game 2 didn’t start out that way.
The Indians (6-2) trailed 2-0 through the top of the first inning before plating three runs in the bottom of the frame and never looking back.
Highland Park (0-8) took its only lead of the afternoon on an RBI triple by Phillip White and a Kenny Hartzell base hit. Ed Scott hit a one-out triple in the bottom of the frame, and after Zac Cox walked, Nick Wohler drove the pair in with a double. The senior first baseman came around to score on Chance Andrade’s base hit.
“I had confidence that we could come back,” head coach Don Hess said. “But at the same time, I was a little frustrated because we’re extremely slow in the first inning. We don’t seem to put pressure on the other team. We’re just not ready to hit when the game starts. And that falls on me and that falls on the players.”
Andrade finished 3 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI. Hess was pleased with his designated hitter’s performance at the plate.
“Chance Andrade rebounded really well,” Hess said. “He had been struggling a little bit, and he absolutely was really, really solid tonight.”
He added that Tom Gevock, who went 1 for 3 with three runs scored, had an impressive outing in his first start behind the plate.
After the Indians added a run in the second — thanks to a base hit by Chase Hagemann — they rode a five-run third inning to a 9-2 lead. Andrade led the inning off with a single and came around on a wild pitch. After Claussen drove in Henderson, who also recorded a base hit, he came around on another wild pitch. Brady Woborny walked and was singled in by Cox. After Wohler walked, the duo advanced on the third wild pitch of the inning, and Cox scored thanks to some heads-up baserunning.
“I thought our baserunning, of all the things we did today, was probably our best thing,” Hess said. “We put some pressure on them and were able to push across some extra runs. And ultimately, that’s what we want to be able to do is put pressure on the defense.”
Manhattan added two more on a double by Woborny in the fourth, and a bases-loaded walk by Hagemann drove in Chance Henderson to seal the win.
Woborny, Josh Bussman, Ethan Kaus and combined to hold the Scots — who have a .083 team batting average — to two runs on five hits, three of which were in the first inning. Bussman, who picked up the win, started and went 2 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Kaus followed him and pitched 1 1/3 innings, giving up a walk and striking out one. Woborny sent Highland Park down in order in his first pitching outing this season.
Jonathan Lozano started for the Scots and took the loss, pitching two innings and giving up four runs on four hits and walking two.
Orlando Rodriguez came on in relief and gave up five runs on four hits with two walks. Alfonzo Vasquez pitched the final 1 2/3 innings and gave up three runs on three hits with two walks. Catcher Angelo Plakio was the only Highland Park player with multiple hits, going 2 for 3.
MHS 12, Highland Park 2, 5 innings
Manhattan rode two five-run innings to a run-rule shortened win over Highland Park in Game 1.
The Indians opened the scoring in the second inning thanks to a sacrifice fly by Carter Perkins followed by an RBI single by Ethan Kaus. Perkins finished 1 for 2 with a double and two RBIs.
Brady Woborny led off the next inning with a walk and came around on an RBI single by Zac Cox. Nick Wohler followed Cox with a monster double to left-center. After Jake Steinbring grounded out, Perkins and Ed Scott laced back-to-back RBI doubles.
Manhattan didn’t stop in the next inning. Woborny led off again, this time slicing a double down the left-field line. After a wild pitch put runners on second and third, Cox hit another RBI single, the first of three straight RBIs. Wohler’s sac fly scored Chase Henderson and pinch-hitter Chance Andrade brought Cox home. Steinbring and Scott came home on an error by Highland Park left fielder Phillip White to make it 12-0.
Needing three runs to extend the game, the Scots scored two runs on a two-out double by Angelo Plakio. Denton Tajchmann got Abel Olguin to fly out to end the game. Tajchmann pitched 1 2/3 innings giving up two runs on two hits. Talon Claussen pitched 3 1/3 innings of scoreless ball, giving up two walks and a hit while striking out five in the win. Lazura Osayande took the loss for Highland Park, giving up seven runs, six earned, on seven hits in three innings. Olguin gave up the final five runs on four hits in an inning of work.
Manhattan returns to action on Friday at Shawnee Heights.
Manhattan 12, Highland Park 2
Highland Park 0 0 0 0 2 — 2
Manhattan 0 2 5 5 X — 12
WP — Claussen. LP — Osayande.
2B — HP: Plakio. MHS: Wohler, Scott, Perkins, Woborny.
Manhattan 12, Highland Park 2
Highland Park — 2 0 0 0 0 — 2
Manhattan — 3 1 5 2 1 — 12
WP — Bussman. LP — Lozano.
3B — HP: P. White. MHS: Scott. 2B — MHS: Wohler, Claussen, Woborny, Henderson.