Mill Creek Doesn’t Mill Around
Mill Creek, Washington improves to 2-1 in Pool A with 3-2 win vs. Jeffersonville, Indiana (0-3)
By Jesse Caputo
Jason Todd tossed off his helmet as he crossed the plate, celebrating the game-winning run against Jeffersonville, Indiana in the bottom of the seventh Tuesday afternoon.
Indiana’s Drew Ellis and Mill Creek, Washington’s Todd both pitched spectacular games, limiting the offenses to two runs apiece, but both were forced to exit before the game was decided.
It took seven innings for Washington to edge Indiana, winning 3-2 on a walk-off single by Alex Jondal.
Each team struck for a run in the first inning before the pitchers dug in for a battle.
Indiana took a 1-0 lead on Ben Shahroudi’s RBI single, which scored Austin Hines, who led off the game with a single of his own.
In the bottom of the first, Jason Todd came to bat with two outs and stroked the first pitch from Ellis over the fence to tie the score at 1-1.
The Great Lakes champs scored again in the second inning on a run-scoring triple from Hines, but Todd would not allow another runner to reach home in his 5.2 innings pitched, striking out 11 in the process.
“Today it was do or die so we decided we were going to go up there and swing the bats, and we did that for the most part,” said Indiana manager Derek Ellis. “Todd was a pretty darn good pitcher.”
Ellis kept Northwest in check until the bottom of the fifth when Todd hit a one-out double to the wall. After another Ellis strikeout, Jondal hit a two-out single to score Todd and tie up the game at 2-2, setting the stage for a dramatic finish.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Great Lakes relief pitcher Christopher Wenger walked Derrick Malhum and Jason Todd to begin the inning. During the next batter, Malhum was tagged out at third trying to advance on a wild pitch. On the same play, the subsequent throw to get Todd at second base went into right field, allowing Todd to advance to third.
Wenger then struck out Jaokim Soderqvist for the second out, which allowed the outfield to return to regular depth.
Jondal came up to the plate, and with two strikes shortened up his swing, and served the Wenger fastball to the left-center field wall on a fly. Todd scored easily from third for the winning run.
“I thought it was gone,” Todd said. “I was just ecstatic, moving on to the next round and hitting a walk-off, that’s something you remember the rest of your life.”
The Northwest champs await the result of Tuesday’s Maryland-Louisiana game to see if they advance to the semifinals.
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