FORT PIERCE, FL -- Once again the La Roche bats came to the rescue. Joe Professori doubled home Johnathan Spina as the Redhawks outslugged Muskingum 17-16 and walked off in ten innings.
La Roche got the scoring started in the bottom of the 1st. Spina led off with a triple and Professori singled to bring in Spina. Philip Pieto advanced Professori to second and a Jay Novak single brought home Professori. Jonathan Melendez singled, Maddux Ryan walked, and Elmo Trickett singled into right to score Novak and give La Roche a 3-0 after the first.
Muskingum put up 3 in the top of the 2nd but La Roche went right back to work offensively. Spina led off with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Professori walked and Dylan Urban singled into left to score Spina. Pieto singled home Urban and Professori and Melendez followed with an RBI triple. Ryan hit a deep fly ball into center to score Melendez and after 2 innings, La Roche led 8-3.
Muskingum scored 4 in the top of the 3rd but La Roche got 1 back in the bottom of the frame. Spina was hit by a pitch, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. He advanced home on an Urban groundout to give La Roche a 9-7 after 3 innings.
All was silent in the 4th, but the scoring picked right back up in the 5th inning. Muskingum got 3 in the top of the frame, but the Redhawks answered in the bottom of the inning. Trickett got it started, reaching on an error, and advancing to 2nd on an Austin Hoffman groundout. Spina poked one into right center to score Trickett and tie it up at 10-10 heading into the 6th.
There was a 1-inning chill period in the 6th where neither team scored. The offenses got back on track in the 7th. Muskingum scratched one across in the top of the frame and then La Roche exploded in the bottom half. Professori got the inning started with a 1-out walk and Urban was hit by a pitch. Pieto doubled into the left center gap to score both Professori and Urban. Novak singled to score Pieto and Melendez flew out to center advancing Novak to third. Ryan and Christian Hirt hit back-to-back singles, and then with Ryan on third and Hirt on first, Hirt stole second and Ryan was able to score on the throw. La Roche led 15-11 after 7 innings.
Muskingum put up 3 in the top of the 8th. In the bottom of the 8th, La Roche put one across when Urban reached on a throwing error, stole second and scored on a Pieto double.
La Roche held a 16-14 lead heading into the 9th but Muskingum was able to get 2 across to tie it. La Roche failed to score in the bottom of the 9th and for the first time this year, 9 innings were not enough and we were heading to extras.
Shane Emrich held Muskingum scoreless in the top of the 10th. Spina got things going in the bottom of the 10th with a 1-out single. He took second on a wild pitch and scored on Professori's double and the 4-hour marathon was finally over with La Roche coming out on top 17-16.
Emrich (1-0) got the win going 2 innings and striking out 4 batters. Cam Smith got the start and went 2 innings while striking out 3. Jesse Savisky went 3 innings in relief with 3 strikeouts. Cole Cogley gave 2 strong innings in relief and Chris Hanlon gave an inning of relief as well. Spina finished 4 for 6 and scored 4 runs. Professori went 2 for 5 and had the game-winning hit. Pieto, Novak and Melendez all went 3 for 6 and Trickett was 2 for 3. Professori, Urban, Novak and Ryan all had 2 RBIs in the game while Pieto finished with 5 RBIs.