The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

June 9, 2014

Late-game heroics lift Chargers past No. 9 Albia

(Continued)

After his lead-off hit, Ritenour reached third on a wild pitch. He would have scored, but the speed of Albia’s Zach Hugen took away a run-scoring hit. Sprinting to center field, Hugen’s headlong dive robbed Aaron Cain of a hit. Ritenour tagged at third and crossed the plate, but the umpire ruled he'd left too early.

Sanders breezed through the third, fourth, and fifth. Hugen's speed let him pick up his second infield hit, but he was stranded in the Blue Demon sixth. Chariton tied it in the home sixth. After a one-out walk, Kobey Riechmann had a bunt single and, two batters later, Brett Braida singled in the tying run.

Albia wasted Sanders’ double in the seventh. Sanders went on to retire the Chargers in order to send the game to extra innings.

Albia left the bases loaded in the eighth: O’Leary’s second hit of the game, a walk to Bryce Leshen, and Brett Leshen’s second hit loaded the bases with nobody out.

Chariton had a chance to win it in the eighth. John Lazear had a two-out hit. Braida followed with a walk and Ritenour’s second hit appeared to drive in the winning run. However, the umpire ruled that the Charger runner failed to touch home plate and the game moved to the ninth.

“Our guys did a good job of overcoming a couple of tough calls,” said Chariton coach Jake Schroeder.

Albia failed to score in the ninth. That set up the exciting, unusual, walk-off finish as Chariton left fielder Nate Hoeger was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to end it.

“I was looking for a pitch to hit, but coach said I needed to find any way to get on,” said Hoeger. “It’s my first walk off RBI of any kind.”

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