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NEWCOMERSTOWN -- Visiting Strasburg High spoiled Newcomerstown's Senior Night with a slim 4-2 victory in Inter-Valley Conference baseball action on a rainy Tuesday.
Despite outhitting the visitors by a 10-8 margin and making some sharp defensive plays, the Trojans dropped the season series with the Tigers.
"I think our guys played real hard," offered fourth-year Newcomerstown coach, Robb Hendershot. "We got our hits tonight, we just couldn't string them together at the right time to get over the top.
"The guys played real well defensively," Hendershot continued. "They made all of the routine plays and then made some of the harder plays that aren't routine. I was happy to see the defense play that well with tournament time around the corner."
Newcomerstown's offense started off hot in the bottom of the first inning when seniors Braden Russell and George Brode roped back-to-back singles.This set the stage for classmate, Joel Ebersbach who reached on a fielders choice that scored Russell and gave the hosts a 1-0 advantage.
The Tigers answered quickly though, with two runs of their own in the top of the second. Mike Neidenthal led off the frame with a one-out walk followed by Andrew Cregan who reached on an error and then Shevin Javersak belted a double to deep left-center field scoring Neidenthal and Cregan to give Strasburg a 2-1 edge.
With runners at the corners and still only one out in the top of the second, senior Bailey Guy turned a nifty double-play and got the Trojans (4-14, 3-11 IVC) out of trouble.
The lead was short-lived for the Tigers thanks to an RBI-single by Newcomerstown's Jase Cabbot that scored Brode in the top of third tying the game at 2-2.
Following a quiet fourth inning, Strasburg (14-8, 7-7 IVC) reclaimed the lead in the top of the fifth plating two more runners. Jared Burnworth led off the frame with a walk and a stolen base, then Paul Thomas, Mitch Neidenthal and Jay DiBacco strung together three consecutive singles giving the visitors the final two runs of the game.
Brode hurled all seven innings for the Trojans recording one strikeout and three walks in the losing decision while Gino Schuphach fanned nine and only walked one in the winning effort for the Tigers.
The southpaw threw all seven innings for Strasburg and retired the side in order in three different innings.
Pacing the Strasburg offense was Thomas with a pair of singles and an RBI while Javersak added a two-run double.
Newcomerstown's seniors, Guy, Russell, Brode, Ebersbach and Brandon Septer, who are the first five to hit in the batting order, combined for eight of the team's 10 total hits with Brode tallying four of them.
Coach Hendershot praised the senior class and thought they have had a great season.
"You have to feel for any senior in their last home game," admitted the NHS mentor. "We all wish we could have gotten the win for them, but they have been a great group. They were freshmen during my first year as head coach so I have seen these guys all four years and have watched the mature. It is going to be tough to see them go."