CUYAHOGA FALLS — Mistakes are amplified in a nip-and-tuck game as Avon’s 11U Little League All-Star baseball team found out the hard way Friday night.
Avon and Cuyahoga Falls North needed extra innings to resolve their district game and two Avon errors in the seventh helped Cuyahoga Falls pick up a 2-1 win.
Avon will play an elimination game at Cuyahoga Falls South on Monday night with Cuyahoga Falls North hosting the winner Wednesday. North would have to lose twice to not advance to regionals.
The score was tied at 1 after one but no more runs scored until the seventh.
“It was just one bad inning,” Avon coach Phil Pintar said. “I was happy we made contact constantly. We just couldn’t get that clutch hit or run in.”
Both pitchers turned in strong outings. Avon’s Brayden Goblirsch struck out six in five innings, allowing just two hits, three walks and one run.
After allowing the first two batters to reach on a walk and a hit, he struck out the next two before Ezekiel Keating made it 1-0 with a liner into right.
An error and a walk put two on with no outs in the second, but Goblirsch zeroed in and dialed up back-to-back strikeouts and a popout to short.
That would start a run of 11 straight batters retired.
“I had great defense to help me,” Goblirsch said. “It really helped me out during the time where I was in a short little spot. They really helped me out in that last one.”
Goblirsch got into a little jam in the fifth, ending his string of batters retired with a walk to Jacob Lancy, who advanced to second on a wild pitch.
Noah Kolvey almost made Goblirsch pay, sending a grounder up the middle. But Jackson Brokaw made a lunging backhanded stop and caught Lancy between third and home. His throw to the plate, however, sailed high. Fortunately for Avon, catcher Landon Gomez was able to jump, snag the ball and make the tag in time to preserve the tie.
“I usually practice those at home so I’m kind of used to them,” Brokaw said. “I’m really good at backhanding them. I play back sometimes so when they go through the gap I can get there in time. I saw their coach waving him home and saw I could make the play. I just threw it to home and Landon made a heck of a catch jumping in the air.”
His pitcher certainly appreciated the effort.
“It was really exciting,” Goblirsch said. “It was cool and I liked how we worked together really well that game. It motivated us to play better.”
Avon also scored in the first when Carter Jenny doubled home Brokaw, but couldn’t get that big hit late. It hade chances in the final three innings, getting leadoff hits in the sixth and seventh, both times getting the runners to third but no further.
Back-to-back errors put two Cuyahoga Falls runners on with one out in the seventh. Jenny just missed strike three on a full count to walk Lancy to load the bases and Kolvey delivered the walk off with a grounder up the left side of the field.
Contact Chris Sweeney at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him @CSweeneyCT on Twitter.