WASHINGTON, Pa. – La Roche doubled home the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning to hand second-ranked Frostburg a 4-3 defeat on the second day of the 2015 NCAA Division III Mideast Regional, Thursday.
Frostburg had its chances in the back-and-forth affair, rallying twice to tie the game before enduring the loss. The Bobcats (38-7) outhit the Redhawks (31-12), 12-9, and stranded 12 runners. FSU scored a solo run in the fourth to tie the game at 1-1 and later plated two runs in the sixth to knot the score at 3-3.
Due to the loss, Frostburg will play on Friday at noon and will square off against the loser of Shenandoah/Heidelberg that is slated for Thursday at 6:30 pm.
"To lose a baseball game in this setting the way we did is tough, said head coach Guy Robertson. "But I believe in what we have in that dugout and the heart that we possess and I certainly think we will bounce back tomorrow and you'll get a good effort from us for sure."
Bobcat starter Bennett Schiltz tossed 8.1 innings and allowed just two earned runs, while striking out six in his first start since the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament.
"I think we should draw some encouragement and energy from the start Bennett gave," added Robertson. "He went out and gave us some unbelievable baseball this afternoon."
La Roche got on the board with a single run in the second for a 1-0 advantage. The Redhawks tacked on two more runs, both unearned in the fourth for a 3-1 lead.
Frostburg leads the nation in field percentage (.977), but three uncharacteristic errors on the Bobcat infield kept the inning alive and allowed La Roche to plate both runs.
Frostburg, meanwhile, was led at the plate by senior Lane Farmer and junior Connor Cooper. Farmer singled down the left field line and Cooper singled through the left side plating junior Zach Keeler for Frostburg's first run that evened things at 1-1 in the top of the fourth.
Two innings later, FSU evened the score again, this time at 3-3. Farmer and Cooper opened the frame with back-to-back singles. Farmer eventually scored on a La Roche error and Cooper scored on a sacrifice fly from senior Ricky Castro.
Frostburg threatened in the eighth when it loaded the bases with one out. However, LAR collected a double play to end the inning.
Farmer and Cooper each finished 3-for-4 with a run scored, while Cooper added an RBI. Castro was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Connor Cooper … Thoughts on the sixth inning
"It gave us tons of momentum as we all were working really hard for Bennett. He's been a number one the whole season."
Bennett Schiltz … Thoughts on his pitching
"It took me a while to get settled in since I haven't pitched for about three weeks. It took me the first three innings to get a feel for my mechanics. After that when I got settled in it was just like every other game for me. In the end, it just didn't work out like we all wanted it to."