John Pringle had some nerves, but still kept his confidence when he entered the batter’s box in the bottom of the seventh inning of the Emporia Post 5 A Legion baseball team’s nightcap with Ottawa Monday night at Soden’s Grove.
With the bases loaded and in an 11-all ballgame, the Northern Heights product delivered a walk-off single to give Post 5 a 12-11 victory. That came after Emporia mercy-ruled Ottawa in the opener, 13-3, in four innings.
“I was just looking for something to drive ... in the gap,” Pringle said. “(I needed to) put something in play and I knew my guys would score.”
Post 5 head coach Cory Shovick said it was nice to see Pringle get that hit, especially since he’s only been able to contribute at the plate thus far.
“He’s been able to make up for it with his bat,” he said. “I think he’s over 30 RBIs this summer.”
Shovick said he felt his team’s offense continues to spark at the right time.
“We came out early (Monday) before the games and the guys got some (batting) cage work done,” he said. “They were able to battle in two games.”
A lead-off walk by Cam Geitz was the runner that mattered the most in the frame. Vance Kinsey single and Logan Thomas was hit by a pitch, setting the stage for Pringle.
Emporia got itself in an early hole in the nightcap after Ottawa struck for two runs in the top of the first. Post 5 responded with three runs. Hayden Knuth and Bobby Trujillo hit consecutive RBI singles before Pringle scored on a wild pitch to give Emporia a 3-2 advantage.
Ottawa regained the lead in the second with two runs, but Emporia took it right back with four more
Post 5 tacked on three more in the fourth to lead 10-4.
The A’s didn’t back down as they scored five runs in the fifth, cutting the deficit back to one.
Emporia added a run on a bases-loaded walk to Trujillo, however, couldn’t extend its lead.
Ottawa used a run in the sixth and the seventh to knot things up, forcing Emporia to win it in the bottom of the seventh.
Trujillo went 3-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs and started the game on the mound, going three innings, surrendering four runs on four hits with two strikeouts. Kinsey, Pringle, Quinn Dold and Cal Kohlmeier combined to go 8-for-12 at the plate with four RBIs.
Emporia never trailed in the opener, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first innings on an RBI single by Kinsey and a wild pitch that allowed Pringle to run home.
After Ottawa cut the Emporia deficit in half, Post 5 accounted for nine runs in the second inning. Cam Geitz had an RBI single and Trujillo, a 2-run double in the frame.
Ottawa got two in the third, but Emporia tacked on a pair in the frame to take the win after four.
Aaron Ross went the distance, allowing three runs on six hits and striking out three.
Kinsey was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Post 5 (12-13) travels to Garnett for a 6 p.m doubleheader Monday. Emporia’s games that were scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday have been canceled.
“I like where we’re at pitching-wise and offensively, but we’ve got to clean it up defensively,” Shovick said.