WIN TO KEEP ON PLAYING: Tigers battle past St. Luke’s for round 2 spot

Published 4:41 pm Monday, April 22, 2019

The Red Level Tigers advance to the second round of the Class 1A state baseball playoffs after knocking off St. Luke’s 16-15 on Saturday in Red Level.

Chance Russell worked around a one-out double in the top of the first inning to keep the game scoreless.

The game wouldn’t stay scoreless for much longer as Tucker Livings cranked a home run over the fence in left field to put the Tigers on top 1-0 with two outs in the bottom of the second inning.

Russell struck out the first batter he faced in the top of the second inning on his a way to a 1-2-3 inning.

Christian Spears singled to get things going for the Tigers in the bottom of the second inning and then moved to third when Cody Shepard was hit by a pitch.

Ethan Edson followed with a hard-hit ball that caused an error and let the Tigers go up 2-0.

A few batters later, Shepard came around to score off of a passed ball.

Braxton Lee then ripped a double to give Red Level a 4-0 advantage.

St. Luke’s then picked up the second out of the inning, but the Tigers weren’t done scoring.

Livings kept his strong day going when he drove a single to center field that allowed Lee to come around to score.

Red Level then loaded the bases with back-to-back walks to Russell and Bryson Pate.

Spears came through with a single that scored Livings and Russell for a 7-0 Red Level lead.

St. Luke’s came back with three runs in the top of the third inning.

In the top of the fourth inning, St. Luke’s inched closer to make the score 7-5.

Red Level responded in the bottom of the fourth inning with six runs.

Spears drove in Kade Green with a bases loaded walk.

Shepard then plated a runner off of an error.

Edson followed with a single right field to put Red Level up 11-5.

A few batters later, Green roped a single to left field that gave the Tigers a 13-5 lead.

St. Luke’s came right back in the top of the fifth inning to make it 13-10.

Red Level went up 16-10 in the bottom of the fifth inning.

In the top of the seventh inning, St. Luke’s began to claw back into the game.

Pate came into pitch for the Tigers with one out in the inning.

After giving up a single and walk that made the score 16-15, Pate bowed his back and struck out the next two batters to end the game.

“We hit the ball really well,” Red Level head coach Todd Smith said. “It was just a battle between two scrappy teams that weren’t ready to go home yet. We went up by several runs a couple of times, but they were the type of team that you just knew no lead was safe. I was really happy with the way our guys battled at the plate. We had a lot of timely hits, and didn’t leave any runners on base. That was the difference maker for us today. Offensively, I think we played the best we have all year. Everyone in our lineup contributed. This was a total team effort. We are looking forward to hosting Holy Spirit for round two.”

Red Level will host Holy Spirit on Friday in Red Level.

Game one is set for 3:30 p.m., and game two is scheduled for 6 p.m.