Dutchmen nine walk it off in FRC opener

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 4/8/21

Opening the month of April last Thursday with a 23-0 shutout at Newburg, Tyler Ahring’s Owensville Dutchmen baseball team looked to keep their winning ways going Monday night at OHS Field …

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Dutchmen nine walk it off in FRC opener

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Opening the month of April last Thursday with a 23-0 shutout at Newburg, Tyler Ahring’s Owensville Dutchmen baseball team looked to keep their winning ways going Monday night at OHS Field hosting Hermann’s Bearcats.

Marking the Four Rivers Conference (FRC) opener for both teams, Owensville and Hermann needed extra innings to decide a winner.

Tied at 5-5 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Dutchmen senior TC Fisher led it off by reaching on an error.

Three batters later with two outs, junior catcher Dominic Grigaitis ripped a walk-off double to right field scoring Fisher and giving the Dutchmen a 6-5 victory moving them to 6-1 overall and 1-0 in FRC play.

That victory also upped their early-season winning streak to four victories in a row.

“We needed to win a game like that,” Ahring said. “Our guys stepped up with their backs against the wall tying the game sending it to extra innings.”

Getting the start on the pitching mound for Owensville, senior Bryor Bogle retired the Bearcats in order in the top of the first inning giving his Dutchmen offense a chance to give him a lead.

Leading off the bottom of the first inning, Bogle helped his cause with a single before advancing to second base on a Garrett West walk.

Gavin Loague was then hit by a pitch to load the bases for senior Tyler Heidbrink.

Before Heidbrink struck out, Bogle scored on a Hermann error to give Owensville an early 1-0 lead.

Able to put the ball in play, Fisher produced a RBI ground out allowing West to score pushing the Dutchmen lead to 2-0 after one inning.

With an 18-inning scoreless streak on the line, OHS looked to keep it going in the top of the second inning.

Hermann had other ideas.

Cameron Michel singled with one out before later scoring on a wild pitch cutting the Dutchmen lead to 2-1 moving to the bottom of the second inning.

Unable to add to their lead in the bottom half of the second, Owensville went into the third inning nursing a 2-1 lead.

Following a scoreless third inning, the Bearcats evened the score against the Dutchmen in the top of the fourth inning.

Bearcat sophomore hurler Parker Anderson doubled to left-center field before Reese Rehmert replaced Anderson on the base paths as a courtesy runner.

Moving to third base on an error, Rehmert scored on a Gavin Moore RBI ground out tying the game at 2-2 moving to the bottom of the fourth inning.

Able to double their run total, Owensville retook the lead on just one hit and an error.

Ethan Reed singled with one out before being retired on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Derek Brandt.

Brandt stole second before taking third base on another fielder’s choice by Grigaitis.

Landon Valley came on to courtesy run for Grigaitis.

During Michael Steinbeck’s at bat with two outs, Brandt scored on a balk helping OHS take a 3-2 lead.

Taking second on the balk, Valley scored when Steinbeck reached on an error doubling the Dutchmen lead to 4-2 after four innings.

Without the aid of a base hit, Hermann cut the lead in half in the top of the fifth inning.

Kenny Hoener drew a one-out walk before being retired on a fielder’s choice off the bat of TJ Racherbaumer.

Trace Erfling came on as a courtesy runner replacing Racherbaumer.

Taking second on a passed ball, Erfling later scored when Michel reached on an Owensville error trimming the Dutchmen lead to 4-3.

Retired in order in the bottom half of the fifth, OHS carried their 4-3 lead into the sixth inning.

Looking for their first lead of the game, Hermann turned three walks, a hit batter and a single into two runs.

In relief of Bogle who went five innings, Brandt found himself in early trouble allowing a lead off single from Reese Rehmert. Walks to Moore and Seth Wilkerson loaded the bases for Hoener.

Drawing a RBI walk on five pitches, Hoener drove in Moore tying the game at 4-4.

Loague then came in to relieve Brandt.

Two pitches later, Racherbaumer was hit by a pitch allowing Rehmert to score and put Hermann in front 5-4.

Loague prevented any further damage striking out the last two batters of the inning.

Unable to turn a one-out single from Brandt into any runs, Owensville went into the seventh inning trailing the visiting Bearcats 5-4.

Pitching a second inning of relief, Loague struck out the side keeping it a one-run game moving to a do-or-die bottom of the seventh inning for the Dutchmen.

Down to their last out, West crushed an 0-1 pitch to right field for a two-out triple. This marked the first triple by an Owensville varsity baseball player on OHS Field. Michael Steinbeck delivered a walk-off triple in a 3-2 victory back on Monday, March 29 for the JV Dutchmen over Salem.

Now down to their last strike, Loague doubled down the left-field line allowing West to score and tie the game at 5-5 sending it to extra innings.

Hermann threatened in the top of the eighth inning with a two-out walk from Hoener and a single from Racherbaumer.

“We had several missed opportunities throughout the game,” Hermann head baseball coach Wayland McKague said. “You have to tip your hat to Owensville who got the timely hits when they needed them.”

However, West relieved Loague and got Anderson to ground into an inning-ending fielder’s choice keeping the game knotted at 5-5 heading to the bottom of the eighth inning.

Coming through with his first hit of the game, Grigaitis delivered a walk-off RBI double for the Dutchmen.

In addition to a four-game winning streak, Owensville is currently ranked eighth in the state in Class 4 according to the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association (MHSBCA).

Narrowly escaping with a victory in their FRC opener, OHS will return to action tomorrow (Thursday) hosting St. Clair’s Bulldogs in another FRC showdown at OHS Field with a 4:30 p.m. first pitch.

After their junior varsity counterparts compete in the Four Rivers Junior Varsity Baseball Tournament this weekend, Owensville will cap a string of three consecutive home games at OHS Field on Monday, April 12 when St. James’ Tigers pay a visit to Gasconade County for a 4:30 p.m., first pitch.

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