MIDVALE — The Highland Rams started off their season with a bang.
They came from behind in the top of the sixth inning to score six runs in an amazing 14-11 comeback win at Hillcrest (0-1) Wednesday afternoon.
It was the season opener for both teams, as Highland’s first game was canceled Monday due to inclement weather.
David Kocher came through with his only hit of the day — a two-run double — to break an 11-all tie, as Highland (1-0) went up 13-11 at that point. It tacked on one more run to start out 1-0 on the season.
“He threw me a curveball, and I just sat on it and hit it. Every time I was up to bat he was just throwing me curveballs so I knew it was coming and just sat on it and hit it,” Kocher said.
The Huskies had entered the top of the sixth inning leading 11-8 in a game with various changes and comebacks.
Early on, the Huskies were tearing the cover off of the ball in the second and third innings as they tallied up three runs in each inning. The fourth continued the onslaught as they scored four runs to go up 10-6 entering the fifth. An Andrew Reich RBI double over the left fielder's head started off the fourth in a good direction for the Huskies.
With a couple more hits to load the bases, and following a wild pitch that scored another run, Zak Zimmermann stepped to the plate. Zimmermann received a fastball right down the heart of the plate, and he whacked it into the right-center field gap scoring two more. Hillcrest’s contagious bats led to six of its players having at least one RBI.
The Rams would not be denied in their season opener though, as they continued to put rallies together, scoring two more runs in the fifth to set the stage for the unbelievable sixth inning.
The frame got off to a great start for the Rams as catcher Austin Brown came to the plate with the bases loaded, and raked a two-run double for his team, pulling within one run. Brown finished with a great game as he went 2 for 4 with a walk, two doubles, and two RBIs.
After a hit batsman, Kocher came to the plate to put the Rams up for good.
Kocher finished the day 1 for 4 with a walk — but his lone hit was oh so important in the Rams’ season-opening victory.
“Initially we were really jittery at bat, leaving eight guys on in the first three innings as we weren’t putting the bats on the ball. But in the later innings when we needed to come through our guys stepped up,” said Rams head coach Mario Cisneros.
The day started and ended great for Highland.
Highland batted around in the first as it scored four runs off a wild pitching display by the Huskies starting pitcher (Reich), who had six walks. Reich lasted only one inning on the mount as he couldn’t get control of his pitches in the second and left with eight walks while giving up four earned runs.
Not only was it the season opener for the Rams but it was the first time they have been on a baseball field this year, due to winter weather, which has obliterated their field.
“We haven’t even practiced outdoors. We practice in the driver’s ed parking lot, and so it’s a whole different feel when you get out there for the first time,” Cisneros said.
The Rams came out with a comeback victory for the ages and the team hopes it’s a sign of great things to come.
“It’s a good team win. I thought we played good, bats struggled a little in the beginning, but we fought together for the win,” said Kocher as he continued on to set the sights high for his club. “We want to take region, and hopefully do well in state.”