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Lutheran West 11, Columbia 8
By Mark Fenske  |  LutheranWest.com staff
Tuesday, May 5, 2015   |  box score

COLUMBIA  --  Lutheran West won for the first time at Columbia since 2010 and did so in come from behind fashion to shock the conference leading Raiders on Senior Night at the Sandbox at Columbia Middle School.  West’s bats woke up in a big way, as the team totaled 11 runs on 12 hits.  Sophomore Alex Robinson had three hits, two RBIs and a monstrous home run that broke the game open in West’s five run sixth inning.  Robinson also pitched the complete game, earning the win despite giving up 12 hits and eight runs.
 
No one expected Lutheran West to even be competitive in the game.  After scoring a grand total of one run in their last four games, and having lost to Columbia 10-0 the day before, even the most optimistic fan had to feel that the Longhorn’s chances were at best slim.  Apparently no one told the Longhorn offense.

Senior Colin Gill struck first, knocking in two runs in his first at bat with a two out single to right.  Gill had another RBI single to plate LW’s third run of the game in the fourth.  “Gill’s hits were very important for us,” said Coach Mark Fenske after the game.  “You could feel the relief on our bench when he knocked in that first pair. It was like a 20 pound weight was lifted from our shoulders.”

West’s offense responded in a big way.  Down 7-3 going into the top of the fifth, West scored eight runs in the next two innings to take the lead and blow the game open.  After a leadoff walk to sophomore Josh Cales to start the fifth, freshman Owen Albers followed with a solid single to right center.  Senior Nick Gambetta then hit his second single to center to load the bases.  Junior Tommy Walker plated a pair of runs with LW’s third hit of the inning to close the Columbia lead to 7-5.  After Robinson struck out, Gambetta scored on a ground out from sophomore Scott Berghaus to cut the lead to 7-6.

The Longhorns went right to work in the sixth, wasting no time tying the game.  After sophomore Michael Felten reached on a throwing error from Columbia’s shortstop and stole second, Cales singled him in to knot the game at 7.  It didn’t take long for LW to take the lead, as Albers laid down a perfect bunt for a base hit, and Columbia threw the ball away on Gambetta’s ensuing bunt allowing Cales to score from second.  Walker hit a sacrifice fly to center to push LW’s lead to 9-7, and Robinson unloaded on a 2-2 pitch, sending it into the pavilion out beyond the right field fence to break the game open and give LW a 11-7 advantage going into the bottom of the sixth.

The deeper in the game Robinson pitched, the better he got.  He started off shaky—he walked five batters combined in the second and third innings—but he always seemed to get out of jams.  Columbia stranded runners in scoring position in every inning except for the fifth and left a total of 12 runners on base in the game.

The Raiders even ended the game with the bases loaded.  After Robinson struck out the first batter of the inning, Columbia leadoff hitter Cody Schwartz singled to right-center.  Robinson then fanned the next hitter for the second out.  A dropped popup at second base and a walk loaded the bases.  Suddenly, things were quite tense.  But Robinson coaxed a ground ball to Albers at third base, and a nice scoop by senior Matt Valletto at first base put the game on ice.
Schedule
Date
Opponent
Results
Mon 3/30/15
W, 9-3
Wed 4/1/15
L, 1-0
Wed 4/8/15
W, 3-2
Mon 4/13/15
Suspended
Tue 4/14/15
L, 17-7
Tue 4/14/15
L, 4-2
Wed 4/15/15
L, 11-1
Thu 4/16/15
L, 10-0
Fri 4/17/15
L, 5-3
Mon 4/20/15
W, 8-4
Tue 4/21/15
L, 3-1
Wed 4/22/15
W, 15-5
Thu 4/23/15
L, 7-3
Mon 4/27/15
W, 11-1
Tue 4/28/15
W, 1-0
Thu 4/30/15
L, 5-0
Fri 5/1/15
L, 7-0
Mon 5/4/15
L, 10-0
Tue 5/5/15
W, 11-8
Thu 5/7/15
W, 10-1
Mon 5/11/15
W, 6-3
Tue 5/12/15
W, 9-1
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Lutheran West
3850 Linden Road
Rocky River, Ohio 44116-4099

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