Pit Spitters Win Back-And-Forth Thriller to Advance
Kokomo, IN - The Traverse City Pit Spitters advanced to the second round with a 9-6 victory over the Kokomo Jackrabbits on Tuesday.
The game went back-and-forth through the last five innings, with three ties and three lead changes.
The first run crossed in the first on a Chris Monroe RBI groundout. The second run came in on a Zeb Roos double to make it 2-0. After four strong innings from Aren Gustafson, the Jackrabbits got to him in the fifth. After tying the game at 2-2, Gustafson was relieved by Pat Hohlfeld. Kokomo added two more to take a 4-2 lead.
The Pit Spitters answered with a 4-run inning of their own. In the top of the seventh, Mario Camilletti doubled home two runs to tie the game. On the next pitch, Tito Flores homered to left, his first home run of the season.
But once again Kokomo answered. They scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth and forced Hohlfeld out of the game. Traverse City brought in closer John Beuckelaere with one out and the bases loaded. He struck out the first batter and got the next batter to line out to strand them loaded and keep the game tied. That set up ninth-inning magic.
Kokomo countered with their closer, who had a 1-2-3 ninth inning save last night. But tonight was a different story. Michael Stygles led off the inning with a triple to right center. Christian Faust singled him home to take a 7-6 lead. After a strikeout, Camilletti came through again with an RBI double. After the bases loaded, he scored on Monroe's RBI single, giving the Pit Spitters a 9-6 lead.
Beuckelaere allowed one baserunner in the ninth but finished the job and sent his team to the next round.
The Top 4 hitters set the table for Traverse City, with each player recording multiple hits
Mario Camilletti finished 3-4 with 3 doubles and 3 RBI's.
Tito Flores was 3-4 with a 2-run home run
Evan Maday went 2-4 with a walk
Chris Monroe recorded 2 RBI's in a 3-5 night
The Pit Spitters will host the Madison Mallards tomorrow, August 18, in a one game playoff. The winner will advance to the Northwoods League Championship Game on Friday against St. Cloud/Waterloo. Since both the Bucks and Rox have a better record than the Mallards and Pit Spitters, the winner will play on the road.
First pitch for the Great Lakes Championship is 7:05 ET.
For tickets for the final game at Turtle Creek Stadium, call 231-943-0100 or visit www.pitspitters.com.
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Northwoods League Stories from August 17, 2021
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