No. 7 Dike-New Hartford rallies to walk off Green Devils

By Kristi Nixon

His team came out like a house on fire, stringing together seven hits, including a three-run homer by Luke Scharper, that had the Green Devils with a 7-0 lead right away.

Osage coach Michael Henson throws up a stop sign in his final game as Green Devils in the background gesture after the team got out to a good start against Dike-New Hartford last week. EJ Photo/Kristi Nixon

However, with a stunning tenacity, Dike-New Hartford started to chip away until the Wolverines had tied the score by the end of the fourth inning at 10-10 and scored an eventual 11-10 walk-off winner, an RBI single with the bases loaded.

“The kids came out ready to play,” Henson said. “They had a nice scouting report on their pitcher, and our kids took the right approach at the plate. To their credit, they kept grinding, kept finding ways to . . . a run here, a run there, work their way into it.

“I’m surprised. These guys gave their heart and soul and put in the effort. Tip our hat to Dike, a great game. It’s hard – this is hard to swallow.”

It came down to pitching. The Green Devils jumped on starter Wil Textor, but his brother, Lew Textor in relief was much harder to handle.

Scharper, who went 2-for-4 with the three-run homer in the first, said he didn’t see the breaking ball that the rest of his teammates hit against the elder Textor.

“I didn’t see a breaking ball for a strike,” Scharper said. “I took the first fast ball (out). You could kind of tell he was struggling. I thought we were going to come out on top after that start, definitely.”

Osage also intended to start Tyler Oberfoell. However, a shot in order to deal with a shoulder issue he incurred during the Green Devils’ win over Rockford a few weeks ago didn’t give him a feel for his pitches, and in a pinch Anders Kittelson was the starter in his place.

“Obviously, we would have loved to have had Obie on the mound, but Anders, we told him there was a possibility he would have to come into the game early, but still, that was tough with warm-ups and having to come to the mound,” Henson said. “It’s a credit to him and his mentality coming in, and they were a good-hitting team. We knew we were going to have to be on. It just wasn’t there. We aren’t going to make excuses. They did what they needed to do to win. They grinded, could have packed it in when it was 7-0, but they kept after it.”

The complete story is available in the July 20 print edition of the Enterprise Journal

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