A's Pearson perfect in extra-inning win
Nick Pearson's high-water mark had been two hits. The Rochester A's shortstop — who plays high school baseball for Century — had done that a bunch of times.
Nick Pearson's high-water mark had been two hits. The Rochester A's shortstop — who plays high school baseball for Rochester Century — had done that a bunch of times.
But never three hits in a game.
Tuesday night at John Adams Middle School, Pearson went way above and beyond. The senior-to-be finished a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate with a double, a pair of RBIs and three runs scored. It made all the difference for his A's, as he helped deliver a dramatic 9-7 eight-inning comeback win over the Rochester Patriots in an American Legion game.
One guy who wasn't stunned by Pearson's perfection was his coach, Jordan Kangas.
"Pearson has been raking the ball lately," Kangas said.
Pearson wasn't alone in swinging a hot bat for the A's. They finished with 17 hits, 14 of them against starter Jake Halverson (seven innings pitched).
But none did it with quite the efficiency of Pearson. And none likely left the ballpark feeling quite as good as him.
"I was seeing the ball really well," Pearson said. "This boosts my confidence a lot. Plus, I feel really good about my team. We came together and had a lot of big hits just at the right times."
That was for sure. The A's had looked sunk, and had that appearance from the get-go. The Patriots — who as John Marshall beat Century in every meeting this spring — batted eight men in the first inning when they scored two runs.
Alex Welder did big initial damage for the Patriots, belting a two-run double deep into the left-center field gap in the first inning. It was a long frame and a long night for A's starter and ace Erik Thorvilson. The tall left-hander struggled with his control during his 4 2/3 innings pitched. He threw a load of pitches, while walking five, allowing eight hits and hitting a batter.
He was replaced with two outs in the fifth by Nick Smith, and his team trailing 7-5.
The A's used the rest of the game to come alive. With Smith getting the job done with his curveball and allowing no runs in closing out the final 3 1/3 innings, he gave his team a chance.
The A's took advantage. They strung together four straight hits — all of them with authority — in the seventh inning, starting with a Pearson double. Riese Zmolek followed that with a smash to right that nearly left the park, then Tyler Gathman and Ryan Goll each crushed singles. All of that brought home two runs, tying the score at 7-7 and sending the game to extra innings.
It also chased Patriots starter Halverson, who was obviously tiring.
The A's went right back to work in the top of the eighth, plating two more runs on a walk and three hits off of relief pitcher Logan Saltou.
The Patriots, who fell to 0-2 with the loss, couldn't answer in their half of the eighth. But they came close, leaving the bases loaded.
"We didn't play a great game today, and our pitcher (Halverson) deserved better," Patriots coach Terry Heiderscheit said. "For us to compete we have to make the routine plays. We didn't do that enough tonight."
The A's improved to 5-5 overall.
A's 9, Patriots 7, 8 inn.
A's:Nick Pearson 5-for-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R; Riese Zmolek 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 R; Ryan Goll 2-for-4, 1 RBI; Alex Holets 2-for-4, 2 R. Pitching: Erik Thorvilson 4 2/3 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 5 BB, 0 K; WP: Nick Smith 3 1/2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 0 K.
Patriots:Taylor Tynsky 2-for-2, 1 RBI; Alex Welder 2-for-3, 1 2B, 2 RBI. Pitching: Jake Halverson 7 IP, 14 H, 7 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 K; LP: Logan Saltou 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K.