TORONTO — The game changed on what should have been a routine play.
Trailing Oak Glen 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Toronto baseball team had a runner on first when the Red Knights’ No. 9 hitter hit a ball to second for what appeared to be the start of a routine double play, however, the ball was misplayed, and the Red Knights took full advantage of the mistake. Toronto went to score five runs in that inning, and the hosts tacked on five more in the sixth to rally for an 11-5 victory Wednesday evening at the Knight Baseball Complex.
The Golden Bears committed four errors in the game-altering fifth inning.
“Early on, we did not have good approaches at the plate,” Toronto (3-0) head coach Brian Perkins said. “We made some miscues in the field, but it is a testament to our kids that we were able to regroup. These kids have the attitude that the expect to win.”
The loss was a self-inflected for Oak Glen.
“We gave that game away,” Oak Glen (2-3) head coach Eric Hayden said. “A few errors hurt us. Our pitcher was filling it up. He was attacking the hitters. They put the ball in play. You’re not going to win when you make four errors in a game.
After falling behind 6-4, the visitors from northern Hancock County collected a run in the six to make it a one-run game, however, the hosts responded with another big inning to seal the deal.
“Things were not going right at the beginning, but the kids showed a lot of resiliency,” Perkins said. “They flushed all the bad stuff away, and they found away to turn things around and to play good baseball.”
The visitors took advantage of three Toronto errors in the second to take a 3-1 lead. Oak Glen added another run in the fourth to extend its advantage to 4-1.
“Our approach at the plate was great,” Hayden said. “We put the ball in play. We were hitting it when it was over the plate. I love our approach right now. We are doing a good job at the plate.”
Toronto’s offensive surge late in the game enabled Dom Bouscher to record his first win of the season. Bouscher struck out six, walked one and allowed five runs on seven hits in six innings of work on the mound. Zeb Kinsey came on in relief in the seventh. Kinsey struck out three and walked two in his one inning of work.
Jared Hissam was saddled with the loss for Oak Glen. Hissam struck out six, walked three and allowed 11 runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings of work. T.J. Decapio came on in relief with two outs in the sixth, and he did not record a strikeout or a walk en route to getting the final out of the inning.
The hosts pounded out 11 hits – two of which went for extra bases – in the win.
Individually, Zeb Kinsey ended up with a single, a triple and two RBI, Bouscher recorded a single, a double and an RBI and Logan Sloane tallied two RBI singles. Also, Blake Close collected three base hits, Cole Barcus singled and Zane Kinsey contributed an RBI.
The Golden Bears delivered seven singles in the loss.
Individually, Decapio produced a two-run single, Maddox McKay added a single and two RBI and Chase Patterson and Tyler McKay each chipped in with a pair of singles. Kholton Goodlin also singled.
The Red Knights have a lot of speed and athleticism on the roster, and the victors showcased that speed in the fifth and sixth innings. The boys in red scored three runs on wild pitches, and Sloane stole home as part of a double steal in the sixth.
“The kids ran the bases well,” Perkins said. “We took the extra bases. That is something we work on.”
Bouscher doubled with two outs in the first, and he scored on a single by Zeb Kinsey to give Toronto a 1-0 lead.
Oak Glen answered right back in the second as the Golden Bears took advantage of a key Red Knight error to take the lead. Maddox McKay tied the score with an RBI single, and Decapio delivered a two-run to give Oak Glen a 3-1 lead.
The Golden Bears increased their advantage to 4-1 in the fourth thanks to an errant pick-off throw at third.
Oak Glen appeared to be on the verge of another strong inning in the fifth, however, the wheels came off after the miscue at second.
Sloane – the lead-off batter – singled home the first run of the inning to cut Toronto’s deficit to 4-2. Zane Kinsey then brought home a run as he ended up reaching on a throwing error to first. Bouscher brought home the tying run with a base hit, and Zeb Kinsey broke the tie with an RBI on a sacrifice fly as the Red Knights regained the lead at 5-4. Bouscher then scored on a wild pitch to increase Toronto’s advantage to 6-4.
Maddox McKay cut Toronto’s advantage to 6-5 when he brought home a run on a groundout in the sixth.
Sloane tallied Toronto’s lone RBI on his second single of the game in the Red Knights’ five-run sixth.
“That’s the way it is sometimes,” Hayden said. “The kids are playing hard. We have some experience. We just have to finish games.”
Toronto is scheduled to play Mathews at 5 p.m. today back at the KBC.
Oak Glen is slated to play Linsly at 5 p.m. Friday at home.
Toronto 11, Oak Glen 5
Oak Glen 030 101 0 – 5 7 4
Toronto 100 055 X – 11 10 3
OAK GLEN (2-3): Hissam LP (5 2/3IP, 6K, 3BB, 7H, 11R), Decapio (1/3IP, 0K, 0BB, 0H, 0R) and Rhoades. Decapio S, 2RBI; Patterson 2S; Goodlin S; T. McKay 2S; M. McKay S, 2RBI.
TORONTO (3-0): Bouscher WP (6IP, 6K, 1BB, 7H, 5R), Ze. Kinsey (1IP, 3K, 2BB) and Henry. Sloane 2S, 2RBI; Za. Kinsey RBI; Bouscher S, D, RBI; Ze. Kinsey S, T, 2RBI; Close 3S; Barcus S.