POWELL — The Fredericktown Freddies are finding new ways to win.
After giving up a two-run lead in the top of the seventh inning to Columbus Academy, the Freddies baseball team scored on a walk, a balk and a throwing error to earn a 6-5 walk-off victory in Division III Central District semifinal action.
Justin Snyder led off the ninth and took first on a walk. As pinch-hitter Dustin Hathaway squared to bunt, the field umpire ruled that Academy pitcher Spencer York didn’t step properly toward home plate and awareded second to Snyder.
On the next pitch, Hathaway bunted perfectly toward York, who scooped the ball and threw it over the first baseman’s head. Snyder rounded third and scored easily.
The bottom of the seventh was almost not necessary. The Freddies led, 5-3, going into the seventh. However, two errors on three at-bats left two base runners on with one out. Snyder made a diving catch on a fly ball for the second out. However, pinch-hitter Matt Tamarken smacked a two-RBI double just over Snyder’s reach, tying the game. Tamarken later advanced on a single by R.J. Watters and appeared to be able to score the go-ahead run easily, but fell on his way to home plate and was tagged out by catcher Tyler Ruhl.
“It was crazy how the whole thing developed,” said Fredericktown head coach Tom Craze. “But I’m proud of our kids. They stayed the course and they kept fighting. We got down and we had to fight back. We got down again and kept fighting. I couldn’t be more proud of this group of kids because of that.”
The win means Fredericktown advances to the Central District final for the first time since 2008. The Freddies will face Northmor, whom they beat, 6-3, back on April 19.
“They’ve got lofty goals,” Craze said of his players. “If the kids believe, and the kids work hard in practice, then we’ll go down on Thursday and give it our best shot.
“We’ve seen (Northmor), so that’s a plus. ... It’s just a matter of preparing and hoping to make our community proud.”
Fredericktown took the lead in the fifth when Matt Smith hit a leadoff double, stole third and scored on a wild throw from the catcher. Andrew Hulse later reached on an error and scored on a Ruhl double.