Schwartz pitches Niagara to split with Ridgemen
WEBSTER, N.Y. — It’s not often that coaches enjoy surprises, especially when battling for playoff position late in the season. Niagara’s Garrett Shivley got something unexpected Monday night, and he’s not complaining.
Jordan Schwartz (Niagara Univ.) tossed a complete-game three hitter as the Power rebounded for a doubleheader split (6-5 / 5-1) with the Lake Ontario Ridgemen in New York Collegiate Baseball League action at Basket Road Field.
Making just his second appearance of the season for the Power, Schwartz’s complete-game effort came just in time as the All-Star Break ended a weekend odyssey that could best be described in Bradbury terms as “All Season in a Weekend.”
“We technically had six games scheduled in three days,” Shivley said when referring to yesterday’s completion of an earlier game at Olean.
Rain turned Saturday’s double-header into a single game, and changed Shivley’s plan for the weekend.
“We were scheduled to whole-staff that second game,” Shivley explained of his intention for the Monday double dip at Webster. “The cancellation of the Wellsville doubleheader making it a single game allowed Jordan Schwartz to start this seven-inning ball game.”
Starting was one thing. Finishing was another. In 44-plus innings of work for the Niagara Purple Eagles this past season, Schwartz struck out 29 while giving up 35 walks and 69 hits.
Not exactly the makings of an innings eater.
Schwartz struck out two and walked two. He set the side down in order three times and retired six straight between the second and fourth. His only mistake came in the second when he left a pitch up in the zone, and Lake Ontario’s Nick Flanagan (Martin Methodist) lofted an opposite-field double into the right corner. Trevor Keele (U of Dallas) moved the runner with a sacrifice bunt, and Flanagan came home on a ground ball by Zac Goodno (Indian River State).
From that point on, Schwartz allowed just one runner past second.
“You would have never guessed it based upon his outing here,” Shivley said when referring to Schwartz’s walk rate in the spring. “He hasn’t been lengthened out to be a starter. For him to come in and throw a complete game in seven innings and be as efficient is pretty surprising to say the least. I’m excited and looking forward to having Jordan Schwartz on our staff.”
The usual suspects took care of run production for the Power.
Ryan Kiesel (Trinity Christian) led the game with a single to right field. Neil DeCook (Kankakee CC) dropped a sacrifice bunt. After Chane Lynch (Dallas Baptist) walked, Tyler Schweigert (Eastern Illinois) slapped an opposite field two-out single to right plating Kiesel with the game’s first run.
Lynch made it 2-1 in the third with a two-out double. When the Valley Mills, TX native slipped rounding second, he was caught in a rundown. But an errant throw went into right field, and he rounded third and head for home.
Lynch brought a .362 batting average to the game. He has seven extra-base hits including three home runs and 27 RBI.
“Chane Lynch has been consistent,” Shivley commented. “He goes deep into counts. He puts together a quality plate appearance every time he steps to the plate.”
DeCook added to the lead in the fifth with a solo shot over the 385 marker in right center field.
Niagara put a crooked number on the board in the sixth. Jamon Hammel (Huntington) singled, stole second and moved to third on an error. Malachi Melton (College of the Ozarks) followed with an RBI. DeCook drove in another before the end of the inning.
The Ridgemen batted around in the sixth inning of the opener for a come-from-behind victory. Joel Belk (Asuza Pacific) singled, drove in a run and scored during the four-run sixth.
Garrett Gooding (Point Loma Nazarene) struck out six for his first win of the season.
Davis Patrick (N. Georgia Coll & St. U.) picked up his third save of the season.
Belk went two-for-three with two runs scored and two RBI.
Kiesel finished the night four-for-seven with three runs scored.
After the NYCBL All-Star Break, the Ridgemen (9-19) travel to Geneva (14-16) to take on the Twins. Friday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Power (14-15) will travel to Hornell (19-9) on Friday night to take on the first-place Dodgers.