By Ethan Burch, Sports Editor
Today the Young Harris College baseball team used a four-run rally in the bottom of the fifth inning to battle back and defeat visiting Reinhardt University by a score of 11-9.
“I’m not sure that I have ever had a team in all my years coaching that is working as hard as this team to finish the season strong,” said YHC Head Coach Rick Robinson.
YHC (23-20) began the game by scoring one run in each of the game’s first two innings to give the Mountain Lions an early 2-0 lead.
Freshman Travis Donahoo (3-1) started on the mound for the Mountain Lions. The freshman had a shaky inning in the top of the third, which resulted in four runs for Reinhardt (15-23-1). The four-run rally by Reinhardt gave the Eagles a 4-2 lead as the game went into the bottom of the third inning.
Donahoo’s problems on the mound continued when he gave up a three-run Reinhardt home run which gave the Eagles a 7-4 lead to start the fourth inning.
Freshman Jack Morrow started the Mountain Lions’ fifth inning rally with a three-run home run that tied the game up at 7-7. This was Morrow’s first home run since his last blast on March 12 in a match-up with Bloomsburg University that resulted in a 16-3 loss for YHC.
Sophomore Zach Bricknell gave YHC an 8-7 lead after plating freshman Mike Medori on a sacrifice fly ball.
YHC extended their lead to 11-7 in the eighth inning when freshman David Atwood reached base on a double in the gap and scored by way of a sacrifice fly from sophomore Josh Rudnik.
Reinhardt scored a pair of runs in the top of the ninth, but it would not be enough as freshman Tyler Isbell sealed an 11-9 Mountain Lions victory.
“Isbell really wasn’t even scheduled to throw tonight,” Robinson said. “He was actually just down in the bullpen getting ready for his weekend start…so he came in to finish that inning and get the save.”
Donahoo, who started the game for the Mountain Lions, pitched four innings, giving up seven runs on five hits with a walk and a strikeout. Donahoo was relieved by freshmen Oliver Pratt, Brice Merritt and Tyler Isbell. Pratt (3-1) earned the win in four innings of relief. Isbell earned his fourth save of the season in relief.
Junior Taylor Smith (1-3) started on the mound for the Eagles. Smith pitched for 4.2 innings, giving up eight runs on nine hits with two walks. Smith was relieved by former Mountain Lion Kendrick McDonald and freshman Jeff Roberts.
The match-up between the Mountain Lions and the Eagles hosted YHC’s tenth annual Steak Night at Zell B. Miller Baseball Field. However, it was an energized Rick Robinson that put a spark in the Mountain Lions when he sprinted back to the team huddle after meeting with Reinhardt Head Coach Bill Popp in the batter’s box before the game.
“The guys really didn’t know that I was going to do that,” Robinson joked. “I think it actually caught some of them off guard. It may have even scared a couple of them.”