The Charger baseball team once again showed a flair for the dramatic, advancing in the 2017 GLIAC Tournament thanks to a come-from-behind 11-8 win over Wayne State University in an elimination game Friday in Xenia, Ohio.
Depending on how other games play out, Hillsdale with either play the loser of the Tiffin-Grand Valley State game, or would play Walsh in another elimination game. Regardless of the opponent, the Chargers will play at 2:00 Saturday.
The Chargers are 25-25 on the season.
This game was a symbol of some of the adversity the team has faced all season. Playing with its season at stake, the Chargers jumped out to a lead, saw the Warriors tie it, then took another lead, only to see Wayne State jump ahead with a two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to take an 8-7 lead. The Chargers were now three outs away from the end of their season.
The season ain't over yet.
The 7-8-9 hitters in the order were due up to lead off the ninth for Hillsdale. But if this Charger team has shown anything, it doesn't matter who is coming up, someone is going to make a play.
Sophomore Mike Mitchell opened the frame with a leadoff walk. Freshman Dante Toppi followed by roping a single to right, getting Mitchell to third. Junior Ryan O'Hearn stepped up and tied the game with a deep single, advancing to second on the throw.
Sophomore Colin Boerst tied the school's single season RBI record with a two-run double to make it a 10-8 lead. One batter later, sophomore Steven Ring tied that same record one batter later with another double, scoring Boerst to put Hillsdale up three.
Junior Phil Carey came into the game in relief and allowed just one baserunner in the ninth inning, closing out the third postseason win in program history.
Wayne State had been 13-0 when taking a lead into the ninth inning this season.
Both Boerst and Ring have 62 RBI, tying the single-season record set by Chris McDonald last year.
Boerst was 3-for-6 with three runs scored, and O'Hear had two bunt singles in a 3-for-5 day at the plate.
Senior Ethan Wiskur slammed his 12th home run of the season, a solo shot early in the game, and went 3-for-5 with three runs batted in for the Chargers. Mitchell was 2-for-4 with a run batted in and a run scored.