The Rapid City Central baseball team seemed to play on the edge for much of the night. In the end, the Cobblers straddled the line for the win.
The Cobblers scored three runs in the top of the eighth, and held the Raiders to two in the bottom half of the inning to escape with a 14-13 win Wednesday night at McKeague field.
In a game that lasted three hours, Central rallied for two runs in the seventh inning to eventually send it into extra innings, and pulled out the win with a line-out double play with the bases loaded.
“It’s all about not giving up on each other, and we didn’t,” Central head coach Ray Puhlman said. “When you are playing your inner town rival like Stevens and Central, the kids don’t want to lose. They do what they have to do it pull it out.”
After beating Douglas 3-2 in eight innings Tuesday night, the Cobblers second straight extra-inning affair was an about face from the previous game. There were 23 hits and 18 walks on Wednesday night.
“When it is back-and-forth, back-and-forth, it is anyone’s game,” Central third baseman Isaak Iverson said. “You just have to keep your head where it is supposed to be and don’t get distracted; don’t get down on yourself. You always have to know that you have teammates that are going to back you up.”
The two teams traded leads in each half inning before the game was tied at 9-9 after four innings. The Raiders scored single runs in the fifth and sixth for an 11-9 lead heading into the last at-bat for the Cobblers.
Central came through in the top of the seventh with a two-run double by Chance Fine.
“I made some changes and we had some pinch hitters come in and they came through for us,” Puhlman said. “They had a walk and that gave us a couple on, and we made it happen with a base hit.”
In the top of the eighth, the Cobblers seemed to take control with three runs for a 14-11 advantage. Cameron Kor had a RBI bloop single for the lead and Iverson had a two-run single to extend the lead.
But the Raiders wouldn’t go away and scored a pair of runs on four walks and an error. But Austin Stiles lined out to shortstop Trey Brandhagen, who flipped to Iverson at third for a force out to end the game.
“It was down to the wire,” Iverson said. “We just had a game like that (Tuesday night). We stuck together as a team. At the end it was a little nervous, but we pulled it out. I missed the third base grounder, but Trey (Brandhagen) backed me up on that, but it was just a great team win tonight.”
It was a tough loss for the Raiders, who also played extras on Tuesday, defeating St. Thomas More 9-8 after scoring eight runs in the bottom of the seventh to keep the game alive.
“That was just an ugly game from the start,” Raiders manager Steve Thomas said. “We kept letting them back in. We had them early and let them come back in. When you do that to any team, bad things usually happen.”
Central had 14 hits in the game — two each from seven players. Iverson led the way with five RBI, while Ethan Byrd and Fine had two runs knocked in each. Jackson McGough, Dominic Santiago and Kor all also had a pair of hits, along with Iverson, Byrd and Fine.
“It’s just our third game, so 2-1 now, I am proud of the kids for what they have given me so far, especially with the limited time outside,” Puhlman said.
Aaron Moser led Stevens, 1-3, with three hits and two RBI, while Austin Stiles and Judge Hutto added two hits each.