TALLMADGE — It took Talllmadge baseball nearly three full weeks to host its home opener at Dave Young Field. When the Blue Devils finally did Wednesday, they faced a challenge in Woodridge.
Both teams brought their bats to the ballpark, as Tallmadge pounded out a 12-7 win over the Bulldogs. Tallmadge improved to 2-4 with the win, while Woodridge dropped to 4-4.
Both teams were coming off lopsided victories on Tuesday. The Blue Devils posted a 17-1 victory in five innings over Theodore Roosevelt Tuesday in Kent. Meanwhile, Woodridge scored an 11-1 win over Streetsboro Tuesday at home.
Tallmadge coach Kenny Linn called the contest "a marathon," noting both teams were capable of scoring against each other’s reserve pitchers.
"It’s probably what we thought would happen," Linn said. "It wasn’t an awful game. There were just a lot of walks, which you don’t want to see. We thought we’d be able to be a pretty good offensive team this year with everyone back."
Woodridge coach Dennis Dever said the Blue Devils lineup was dangerous all the way through.
"They’re extremely patient at the plate," Dever said. "Every time we put up some runs, they came right back at us. I tip my hat to Tallmadge. They were the better team today."
Woodridge opened the scoring in the top of the second inning, After drawing a pair of walks, Woodridge got a two-out RBI double from designated hitter Jarrett Martin and a two-run single from shortstop Ty Mygrants to make it 3-0.
In what would be a pattern in the game, Tallmadge would answer.
After a double by Jared Burick a hit batsman and an infield single by first baseman Andrew Ayers, Tallmadge got on the board via a bases-loaded walk to left fielder Sam Seeker and a hit batsman to catcher Ritchie Eyre. Ayers would then score on a double play ball to the game at 3-3.
An RBI infield single by right fielder Seth Gergely and a single by third baseman Zach Boyd were followed by a two-run double from designated hitter Scott Seeker, making it 6-3 Tallmadge and chasing Woodridge strarting pitcher Mark Bills from the game.
Bills (0-1) took the loss, going just 1 1/3 innings, giving up six earned runs on five hits, two walks and two hit batsman.
Woodridge attempted to respond in the top of the third. After two walks and a double by catcher Brad Goodyear, a fielder’s choice allowed first baseman Zane Patterson to score and make it 6-4.
Tallmadge got three doubles in the bottom of the third to extend the lead. After Ayres doubled, Tallmadge got back-to-back RBI doubles from Eyre and shortstop Phil Glasser to make it 8-4.
Eyre had a big day at the plate with a single, a double and four RBIs.
In the top of the fourth, Woodride again came back by taking advantage of some Tallmadge miscues. After back-to-back singles by Mygrants and center fielder David Massey to start the inning, a wild pitch, a walk and a throwing error allowed the Bulldogs to score three runs and cut it to 8-7.
Once again, Tallmadge went deep in the bottom of the fourth to reply.
With two outs, Burick smashed a solo home run over the fence in the left field to make it 9-7.
Tallmadge’s bottom of the order did the job again, as Jake Rensel singled, Ayers walked, Sam Seeker hit an RBI single and Eyre hit a two-run single to make it 12-7 after four innings.
While senior Cameron Knutty (0-1) picked up the win for Tallmadge, giving up three runs (one earned) in two innings of relief, the Blue Devils’ most effective pitcher on the day was freshman Owen Jascoe.
In his first varsity appearance, Jascoe pitched two innings of scoreless, hitless relief, allowing three walks and striking out four.
"He showed today he can come out and compete with anyone," Linn said. "He’s probably going to see more time."
Against the Rough Riders, Tallmadge scored five runs apiece in the second and fifth innings, respectively, and finished with 15 hits and one error.
Glasser had two hits, including a double, and six runs batted in. Gergely had a single, stole two bases and drove in three runs and Rensel had three hits, including a double, and three runs scored.
Ayres contributed two hits and scored three runs and Eyre had two singles and two runs scored.
Also faring well for the Blue Devils was Sam Seeker, who had a single, two runs scored and two RBIs.
Burick picked up the win on the mound. He struck out five batters and walked one in five innings of work.
Meanwhile against Streetsboro, Woodridge pitcher Jarrett Martin struck out nine Rockets on his way to his first victory of the season (1-0). Martin and reliever Ryan O’Leary combined to allow just one hit.
Woodridge took advantage of numerous walks from the Rocket pitching staff and two Streetsboro errors, as the Bulldogs had only six hits in the win.
Bradley Goodyear led the Bulldogs with a single, a double, four RBIs and a run scored.
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, firstname.lastname@example.org or @MLeonard_RPC