Walk-off homer does in Rams in Game 1

Published 12:59 am Wednesday, May 7, 2008

HEIDELBERG — The WCCA Rams took Heidelberg Academy right to the wire, but in the end, it was the Rebels who had the upper hand in Game 1 of the MPSA Class A South State championship series.

Heidelberg’s Derek Beach hit a walk-off three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Rebels a 5-2 win and push WCCA to the brink of playoff elimination.

“It was a well-played game by both teams,” WCCA coach Ray Olive said. “(Heidelberg) did what they had to do to win the game.”

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Heidelberg (29-3) took an early 1-0 lead in the third inning on a Beach double, but WCCA scored two runs in the top of the fourth to take the lead.

Joseph Harvey drove in a run with a suicide squeeze and Hayden Holden drove in the second run with an RBI single.

Heidelberg tied the game back up with a run in the bottom of the fifth before winning it in the bottom of the seventh.

WCCA pitcher Sutton Olive retired the first Heidelberg batter in the seventh, but then gave up two consecutive hits.

With runners on second and third, WCCA decided to pitch to Beach and he made them pay with the game-ending homer.

“We didn’t want to put him on and load the bases because many things could happen to score a run with the bases loaded,” coach Olive said. “We decided to pitch to him and he hit it.”

Despite the loss, Olive said the Rams (23-11) are looking forward to getting back to their home field for Game 2, which will be at 7 p.m. Thursday.

“We know it will be a different game at home,” Olive said. “They have a very small park and ours is much larger. That home run they hit tonight would have been a routine out in our park. We feel we have an advantage playing them at home. We feel like we can play with them any day of the week.”