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Nordonia baseball team wins pitcher's duel against Hudson

Published: April 12, 2017 7:08 PM
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It was a pitcher's duel that had plenty of drama and excitement.
In the long run, though, the Hudson-Nordonia baseball game came down to a crucial call that did wonders for the home team.
A balk.
The host Knights improved to 6-2 overall and 3-0 in the Suburban League National Conference after earning a 2-1 victory over the Explorers April 12 in Macedonia.
With a runner on third base and two outs, senior right-hander Johnny Merrill was called for a balk that allowed the go-ahead run to score.
Senior designated hitter Chris Nolan, who led off the inning with a walk and then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore left fielder Brendan O'Donnell and to third on a ground out, scored on the balk.
That was just enough for Nordonia right-hander Daniel Heiser, who mixed an array of fastballs, curves, sliders and changeups from a variety of arm angles to thwart Hudson's offense.
Heiser had to work for it, though.
He threw 126 pitches and had the tying run at second and the go-ahead run on base when he issued two walks in the seventh.
But Heiser (2-0) got out of the jam with a strikeout and a ground out to second to end the game.
Heiser struck out eight batters and walked three. He allowed just two hits.
The Explorers (5-3, 2-2) got both of their hits and their lone run in the top of the first. All of that damage took place after the first two batters failed to reach base.
Senior right fielder Bryce Kilfoyle, a left-handed batter, got things started with a single to left. Senior Seth Draper followed with a walk and senior shortstop Hayden Knox, another left-handed batter gave Hudson a 1-0 lead with a single to right-center field.
The Knights tied the game in the bottom of the second.
Senior shortstop Trey Crockett smacked a ground-rule double down the right-field line and scored the tying run on a one-out double by freshman catcher Michael Hamrick.
Like his counterpart on the mound, Merrill was just about unhittable for much of the way.
He allowed just three hits and finished with six strikeouts and just one walk. Merrill retired the last six batters he faced and threw just 78 pitches.


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