When Crichton Hill swung his bat for the final time against the Warrensburg Post 131 Isotopes Friday, he “just hit it and hoped for the best,” he said.
His best was good enough to provide the game-winning hit for Blue Springs Post 499 Fike.
With no outs, a runner on second and the score tied 11-11 in the bottom of the 10th inning, the soon-to-be Grain Valley senior walloped a rocket that caromed off the Warrensburg third baseman into foul territory. Jackson Rehkow scored on the hit to give Fike a 12-11 victory at Hidden Valley Park and keep Post 499 alive in the American Legion Zone 2 Tournament.
“It was going right at him at first, and I thought, ‘That’s going to be a line drive catch’ and (that) Rehkow would be stranded at second with one out,” Hill said of Rehkow, who finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. “But luckily, I think it bounced off his foot … ricocheted into the fence.”
It was Rehkow’s leadoff bloop double into the right-field alley, however, that made Hill’s game-winner possible.
“That’s a tough spot to make a play on, any day of the week,” Hill said. “But luckily, they did not make the play. And Rehkow was able to get around first and get a good read and take off for second. That was a good jump by him.”
Through the first four innings, it appeared Fike wouldn’t need those hits to win. After spotting Warrensburg two runs in the top of the first, Fike ripped off five runs in the bottom of the first and added three more in the second.
Fike then answered Warrensburg’s three runs in the top of the third with two in the bottom of the third and another in the fourth.
And then, Fike’s scoring stopped. For six innings.
Meanwhile, the Isotopes rallied. First, Brodie Payne scored on a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Then, the Isotopes cut it to 11-9 with three runs in the eighth. Chase Hagle and Payne each scored on a wild pitch in the ninth to help force Fike to win it in the 10th.
“We’ve had a hard time closing it out,” sad Fike manager Doug Lohman, whose team won 16-15 over Sedalia Post 642 in the first round despite surrendering nine runs in the ninth inning of that game. “But we ended up with the win, so that’s all that really matters.”
Mark Walker (two RBIs), Ryan Cates (triple, one RBI) and Ross Greco also each had three hits, Koby Powell added two hits and two RBIs and Quinton Weld added an RBI double.
With that victory, Fike advanced to face St. Joseph Post 11 late Friday night in an elimination game but suffered a 13-9 loss and was eliminated. Fike finishes with a 22-23 record.