PRINCETON — Jane Taylor has just as much faith in the Princeton batters as her husband, Tim, the Princeton head coach. When told the Tigers had their bottom of the order coming up in the bottom of the seventh inning, down two runs to IVC Thursday at Prather Field, she said it didn’t matter because they can all hit.
She was right. The No. 7-9 hitters all hit safely to load the bases to spark a three-run Tiger rally that led to a 11-10 win.
“I don’t know who that woman is, but she’s a good woman,” said Taylor jokingly, when told of his wife’s good faith.
As a team, the Tigers collected 18 hits, including three by Matt Hayes and Tyler Marvin
The Tigers jumped on the Grey Ghosts for a 7-0 lead, scoring four runs on five hits in the first inning and three runs on five hits in the second.
But the Tigers had been down this road before with the Grey Ghosts. Last year, they took a big lead early only to have IVC rally back to take the win.
It appeared that might happen again with the Grey Ghosts responding with six runs in the third and four in the fifth to take a 10-8 lead.
Down to their last at-bats, the Tigers rallied, sparked by that bottom of the order.
Dylan Schaefer, Austin Schindel and Caleb Dickens all hit safely to load the bases. IVC got two outs with a strikeout and a force out on Isaiah Taylor’s comebacker to get Schaefer at home. Hayes stroked a sinking fly to left field that IVC’s Reilly Owens dived for but couldn’t hold onto, the ball tumbling out of his glove as he tumbled to the ground. Schindel scored from third and coach Taylor waved Dickens around from second to tie the game at 10.
With clean-up man Tyler Marvin at the plate, IVC reliever Allan Parr uncorked a wild pitch to send Isaiah Taylor racing home for the game-winning run.
“It’s a big confidence builder,” Tim Taylor said of the Tigers’ come-from-behind win. “They talk about being brothers and that’s where they’re at on the field. They’re like brothers, they carry each other along the way. Hats off to their attitude towards one other. It’s so much fun watching them have fun every day, whether it’s practice or a game. That’s the key.”
The Tigers (7-5, 1-1 NCIC) came out swinging in the first inning with J.J. Vaccarro and Matt Hayes singling ahead of a sac fly by starting pitcher Marvin. Nick Rolando and Austin Schindel added RBI hits to make it 4-0.
In the second, Marvin, Rolando and Logan Wilde had three consecutive RBI hits to stretch their lead to 7-0.
IVC chased Marvin with three straight walks to open the third inning. The Ghosts greeted Dickens with three hits, including two-run singles by Mitch Myers and Reuter to pull within 7-6.
Isaiah Taylor followed Nick Rolando to the mound to open the sixth, pitching two scoreless innings for the win.
Tiger tales: The NCIC rivals are scheduled to meet again Thursday in Chillicothe, weather permitting. IVC alumnus Zach McAllister (2006) is off to a good start pitching for the Cleveland Indians, standing 1-1 with a 2.19 ERA in two starts for the Tribe. …. The Tigers will play in Peoria once more, facing Fieldcrest at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Peoria Chiefs Stadium. Each team sold 200 tickets for the Chiefs-Cedar Rapids game at 1 p.m. .... PHS and Mendota played to a 2-2 tie in the rain Monday before the game was called in the third inning.