The Port Arthur News
Mid-County Madness has lived up to its billing this baseball season, as Nederland beat Port Neches-Groves Tuesday in another game for the ages.
After erasing two PN-G leads in extra innings, Nederland’s Seth Barrow hit a nubber that snuck under the glove of the Indians’ second baseman, allowing Brian Feltman to score from third and give the Bulldogs a 3-2 victory over PN-G in District 20-4A play.
“When do you see two teams play two games like this?” Nederland head coach Cody Robbins said. “I told the team last week that our coaching staff has confidence in them. We feel like they can win every game they play. They showed a lot of toughness in this one. In every district game, we’ve said we only need one run to win. That’s what happened tonight.”
PN-G beat Nederland 2-1 with a walkoff home run in the bottom of the 11th inning in the first matchup between the two teams. Total, the pair combined to play 23 innings in two games, scoring a total of eight runs and combining for 56 strikeouts.
The Indians put Nederland behind the eight ball for the second time in three innings in the top of the 12th, as sophomore Ky Walker’s walk led to a run two batters later on a wild pitch, making it 2-1 PN-G.
Nederland’s Jared Ramoin was able to get out of the inning without allowing any more runs to score.
That proved important two batters into the bottom of the 12th, as Mitchell Sanderson led off with a walk. The next batter, Brian Feltman, had a slash play put on, meaning he was to bunt if PN-G’s infield played back and to hit away if they shifted into the infield.
That’s exactly what they did and Feltman crushed a pitch to left field that cleared the Indian fielder’s head, allowing Sanderson to easily score from first and re-tie the score at 2-2.
Two straight walks loaded the bases with one out, setting up Barrow’s heroics to end the game and give Nederland a seventh straight victory.
“Give credit to Nederland,” PN-G head coach Mark Brevell said. “They’re a tough team. They did not quit. They battled back twice against us and made plays when they had to. This is tough for us.”
PN-G scored the game’s first run in the top of the 10th, when speedy center fielder Kaleb Clark hit a triple into the right field corner with one out in the inning. Clark scored two batters later on Daniel Mullins’ RBI single up the middle.
That triple chased Nederland starter Mitchell Sanderson, who threw 9 1/3 innings while allowing two hits, one run, three walks and struck out 10.
“There were plenty of heroes tonight, and Mitchell is one of them,” Robbins said. “I told him with the way he pitched, he deserved to get a win. He had a no-hitter through six and only gave up one hit in nine innings. He just didn’t get it tonight, but he definitely pitched well enough for us to get the win.”
Ramoin picked up the win for Nederland, who now has a two-game lead for 20-4A’s first place with three to play. Gabe Nevala initially relieved Sanderson, allowing one run and one hit with one walk in 2 innings of work.
PN-G starter Tyler Herald lasted 4 1/3 shutout innings, striking out one and giving up three hits and three walks. Junior Logan Ashworth struck out four in 2 1/3 innings while giving up no hits or runs. Freshman Ryan Leckich followed with 3 1/3 innings of relief, giving up one run on one hit with a walk and four strikeouts.
Chase Woods took the loss for PN-G, giving up two runs on two hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings of work.
“We threw five different pitchers and they all gave it their all,” Brevell said. “To play 12 innings like this and be this competitive, that’s something. Our team played their hearts out. It’d be easier if we came out on the winning side.”
Nederland’s Carson Raines may have had the game’s biggest hit under pressure in the bottom of the 10th.
With two outs and a runner on second and the Dogs trailing 2-1, Raines lined a double into the left field corner that allowed Sanderson to score easily and give the Bulldogs new life.
“That was a great heroic effort by Carson,” Robbins said. “One of the toughest situations to be in is to have the tying run on base with two outs. That’s one of the toughest situations to be in as a hitter, and he did a great job for us.”
Nederland (20-3, 10-1) will travel to Beaumont Ozen on Friday while PN-G (13-11, 8-3) will host Vidor.