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|7/15/2017 ||Email this article Print this article |
|Northeast walks off in district opener|
By Ross Eberhart
CASCADE - Sometimes in baseball, it does not matter how hard you hit the ball, but where the ball ends up.
Case in point - the Northeast baseball team's seventh inning in Tuesday's 2A District 8 semifinal with Bellevue.
The Rebels had two hits in the frame.
The first from junior Connor Bodman was a soft liner that dropped right between the shortstop and the left fielder.
The second from senior Jacob Reemtsma hit the ground before reaching the limestone section of the infield.
Reemtsma's high chopper, however, proved to be the perfect solution for the Comets' drawn-in infield as the ball bounced over the shortstop and third baseman, allowing Bodman to score the winning run in Northeast's 2-1 victory.
The win sends the Rebels to a second straight district final, where Northeast will meet the same team it did last year - Cascade - who won the other semifinal over Camanche, 10-0.
The victory also exorcised any lingering demons from Northeast's last postseason trip to Cascade two seasons ago when it was upset by Bellevue by an identical 2-1 score.
The Comets consistently threatened to repeat that feat Tuesday, producing base runners in each of the seven innings.
Rebels starter Kyle Dell, though, bore down - he finished with six strikeouts - and received help from his defense, including a diving stop by shortstop Zach Parson to end one late threat.
Parson also opened the game's scoring in the bottom of the fourth.
The senior singled to open the frame and was soon joined on base by Matt French, who also belted single.
Axel Dondiego then hit a grounder to the shortstop, who stepped on second for one out and fired to first for a potential double play.
The throw, however, was off target, allowing Parson score, making it 1-0.
Two innings later, Bellevue knotted things up.
This time, it was a pair of Northeast miscues - a throwing error and a balk - that proved to be the difference as the Comets scored without a hit - the run came in on a sacrifice fly - to tie things at one-all.
Bellevue threatened again in the seventh on a two-out double, but stranded the potential winning run on third.
Northeast made sure the missed opportunity hurt.
Bodman led off the bottom of the seventh with his bloop single, and the Comets compounded the damage by throwing a pick-off attempt into right field.
The next Rebels batter, Andrey Drury, put down a sacrifice bunt to move Bodman to third with just one out.
Needing to be in position to throw out Bodman at home, Bellevue brought its infield to the edge of the grass, and Reemtsma made them pay when his chopper cleared their heads.
Reemtsma led the Rebels with two hits - Parson, French, Bodman, and Tristen Daniels each had one - and Dondiego earned the victory in relief, striking out two batters in 1.33 innings of work.
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