University Center, MI:
The Saginaw Sugar Beets (3-4-0) battled back from a 6-run deficit, scoring 7-runs in the bottom of the seventh inning for an 11-9 victory over the Irish Hills (Adrian, MI) Leprechauns (1-2-0) on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University this afternoon.
Irish Hills shortstop Tommy Pellis (Pennsylvania University) gave the Leprechauns an early 1-0 lead when he scored on a wild pitch in the top of the first inning, before the Sugar Beets tied the game at 1-run apiece when Saginaw third baseman Z-Michael Westley (SVSU) drove in second baseman Brady Wood (Adrian College) in the bottom of the first inning.
Leprechauns' LF Gunner Rainey (Adrian College) kicked off a big rally in the fourth when he drove in RF Preston Pilat (Northern Kentucky University) and catcher Nick Neibauer (Bowling Green State University) with a 2-RBI single, followed by another 2-RBI single off the bat of Irish Hills second baseman Tommy Toal (LaSalle University) which scored CF Noah Suarez (Salem International University) and Rainey for a 5-1 Leprechauns lead in the top of the second inning, before adding to the lead in the fourth when third baseman Zach Frieling (St. Louis University) scored on a wild pitch for a 6-1 Irish Hills lead midway through the fourth inning.
Saginaw picked up another run in the bottom half of the fourth when catcher Matthew Houle (Davenport University) drove in CF Gaosh Williams (CMU) with an RBI-single to cut the Leprechauns' lead to 6-2 through 4-innings.
Sugar Beets starter Brandon Reed (a lefty from CMU) gave up 5-earned runs on 5-hits and 8-walks, while striking out 7-Irish Hills batters through 4 2/3 innings today, before he was replaced by former Frankenmuth standout Jack Tagget (Kalamazoo College) who made his Sugar Beets debut, giving up 2-runs on 3-hits and a walk through 1 1/3 inning of relief.
Irish Hills touched Tagget for 2-runs in the sixth when Toals drove in Rainey on a sac fly RBI, before Suarez was driven in by DH Maxx Mahon (Davis & Elkins College) extending the Leprechauns' lead to 8-2 midway through six innings.
The Beets would chip away at the Irish Hills lead in the bottom of the sixth when Ryan Robinette (Lawrence Tech) scored after Wood reached on a fielders choice to make it an 8-3 game after 6-innings.
Saginaw exploded with a big rally in the seventh when Westley drove in first baseman Adam Proctor (Michigan State University) with a double, as RF Sean Fannon drove in LF Max Trucks (Alma College) with an RBI-double, which led to 3-straight walks to Robinette, Connor Charping (Western Michigan University) and Wood, bringing in Fannon for the third run of the inning to cut the Leprechauns lead to 8-6 with 2-outs.
Sugar Beets shortstop Cooper Marshall (WMU) continued the 2-out rally with a 2-RBI double to score Robinette and Charping, before Westley was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Wood, followed by a walk to Noah Marcoux (Davenport University) which brought in Marshall to give Saginaw a 10-8 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Mahon homered for the Leprechauns to make it a 10-9 game in the top half of the eighth inning, while Charping drove in Fannon with an RBI-single for an 11-9 Beets' lead in the bottom of the eighth.
Sugar Beets reliever Marcus Beeson (Siena Heights University) replaced Tagget and earned his first win of the season after giving up an earned run on 2-hits and 2-walks, with 1-strikeout through 1 1/3 innings of relief, before closer David Klug (Lawrence Tech) picked up his second save of the season after allowing 2-hits and 1-walk, with 2-strikeouts in the final 1 2/3 innings.
Houle led the Beets' offense, going 2 for 2 with an RBI, while Westley finished 2 for 4 with 3-RBI's, followed by Charping, who was 1 for 1 with an RBI and Williams, who went 1 for 2 on the afternoon.
The Sugar Beets will head south to take on the Southern Ohio Copperheads in the first game of a 2-game series at 7:05 pm at Bob Wren Stadium on the campus of Ohio University in Athens, OH tomorrow evening.