PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — Daniel Katayama’s one-out single in the bottom of the 10th inning plated teammate Brady Page with the winning run and lifted Shawnee State University to a 3-2 win over the University of Rio Grande, Friday afternoon, in Mid-South Conference baseball action at Branch Rickey Park.
Katayama’s game-winning hit capped the Bears’ rally from a 2-0 first inning deficit and gave Shawnee State (8-7 overall, 1-0 MSC) the victory in the conference opener for both teams.
Rio Grande, which had a two-game winning streak snapped, slipped to 4-8 overall and 0-1 in league play with the loss.
Brady Hightchew opened the home 10th by reaching on an error, but was quickly forced out at second on Brady Page’s fielder’s choice grounder to third. Dalton Tinsley followed with a single to right which moved to third and, on the same play, advanced into scoring position on the throw to third.
Katayama, Shawnee’s leading hitter average-wise this season, then hit a 1-0 pitch from Rio Grande senior reliever Eric Ford (Chagrin Falls, OH) into shallow right field to score Page with the winning run.
Ford, who worked a perfect ninth inning in relief of senior starter Mike Deitsch (Cincinnati, OH), was the hard-luck loser as a result of the unearned run.
The loss also squandered a solid performance on the hill by Deitsch, who allowed four hits and a pair of unearned runs in eight innings while walking two and striking out 10.
Mason Wisner earned the win in relief for the Bears, working the final 1-2/3 innings in relief of starter Derek Moore.
Rio Grande jumped to a first inning lead against Moore when senior Marcus Makuch (Baltimore, OH) led off with a single, junior Anthony Knittel (Portsmouth, OH) drew a one-out walk and junior Kyle Findley (Cincinnati, OH) singled to left to plate Makuch. Knittel also scored moments later on a two-out passed ball.
Shawnee State got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning when Katayama reached on a one-out single, moved to second as Nolan West reached on a passed ball while striking out and scored on a single by Blake Maines.
That’s how things stayed until the home eighth inning when the Bears pushed across the tying marker with two outs.
Katayama reached on a two-out walk and was replaced by pinch-runner Mitchell Lendenski, who stole second and scored on the same play thanks to a pair of RedStorm errors.
Rio Grande left runners at second and third base in the ninth inning and had runners at first and second with one out in the 10th before Knittel grounded into an inning-ending double-play.
Makuch had three hits to lead Rio at the plate, while junior Grant Tamane (Pickering, Ontario, Canada) and Findley had two hits each.
Katayama finished 2-for-4 and was the only Shawnee State player with multiple hits in the win.
The two teams are scheduled to conclude the weekend series with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at noon.