Ruch Knocks In Game Winning Run, Ties School Record For Saves As Express Defeat Jackson
By Nicholas Huenefeld/Owens Sports Information
Toledo, OH---Clayton Ruch lined a two-run double to left field in the eighth inning that broke an 8-all tie and then recorded his school record tying sixth save in the ninth as the Express defeated Jackson CC 10-8.
The win also snapped a six game losing streak for the Express.
Jackson led early as they scored five in the first two innings off Express starter Jeff Davis. The Express, though, would score one in the first, one in the second and two in the third to keep it close.
Daniel Heatherly's infield RBI single in the first scored Nate Manis, who had singled and stole second to lead off the inning. Manis then hit a sacrifice fly in the second to score Ruch, who had singled on a bunt to lead off the inning.
Down 5-2 entering the third, Justin Elder and Ryan Horvath led off with back-to-back singles. Elder would later score on a wild pitch, while Horvath scored on a grounder from Heatherly to make it 5-4.
Jackson then answered back with one in the fourth and two in the fifth to take an 8-4 lead, but the Express fought their way back once again.
In the fifth, Heatherly walked with one out and Ryan Hotmer moved him to third with a single. Ruch then lined a single to center to score Heatherly and make it 8-5.
The Express then scored twice in the seventh to pull within one at 8-7 when Austin Legate singled to right center scoring Hotmer and Heatherly. Hotmer had walked and Heatherly had reached on a fielder's choice.
In the eighth, Elder led off with a single to right center before Horvath sacrificed him to second. After a wild pitch and a walk to Heatherly, Elder scored on another wild pitch on the fourth ball from another walk by Hotmer. Then, with runners on first and third, Ruch laced a two-run double to deep left that scored Heatherly and Hotmer to put Owens up 10-8.
Ruch then relieved Heatherly on the mound to begin the ninth. He struck out the first two and got a grounder to first to end a 1-2-3 inning and pick up his sixth save, which ties Dino Cowell's record from the 2001 season.
Davis allowed five runs on four hits and one walk in his two innings. Aaron Peoples pitched the next three innings and allowed nine hits, three runs and zero walks while striking out one.
Jesse Castilleja, Heatherly and Ruch held Jackson scoreless over the next four innings. Castilleja allowed only two hits while striking out two in 2.2 innings, while Heatherly (1-0) picked up a one pitch, one out win. He had relieved Castilleja in the top half of the eighth with runners on first and third and two outs.
Ruch led the Express offense as he finished 3-for-5 with a run, a double, a stolen base and three RBIs. Elder was 2-for-5 with two runs, Horvath was 2-for-4 with a run and a stolen base, and Legate was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Heatherly added a 1-for-3 game with three runs, two RBIs and two walks.
Macomb's leadoff hitter, Daniel Jones, finished 4-for-5 with two runs and an RBI, while Shawn Giroux was 3-for-4 with four RBIs, Zach Parran was 2-for-5 with two RBIs, David Laskowski was 3-for-3 with two runs and Dalton Reust was 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.
With the win, the Express moved to 14-27 overall, while Jackson fell to 19-19.
Jackson's head coach, Rick Smith, coached Express head coach Del Young and Express assistant coach Scott Tesluck when those two played at St. Clair County Community College in Port Huron, MI.
The Express will now travel to Cleveland, OH to take on Cuyahoga Community College in a four game series on Friday and Saturday. They will play a doubleheader each day.