By Rob Kiser
A run in the seventh inning capped an amazing comeback for the Lehman Catholic baseball team — and led to a heartbreaking loss for Russia in a D-IV sectional final at Hardman Field Wednesday.
Lehman will now play Tri-Village at 5 p.m. Friday at Newton.
In the homes seventh, Lehman broke a 6-6 deadlock.
Stephen Monnin walked to lead off the inning, and was sacrificed to second by Ian Smith. Owen Smith then walked, and Tyler Lachey singled to left-center to plate Monnin and sent the Cavaliers on to the district.
Lehman had trailed 6-1 going to the home fifth-inning with Jonah Counts in complete control on the mound for the Raiders.
Walks to Dylan Arnold and Monnin and fielder’s choice had put runners on first and third with one out.
After an errant throw to second on Owen Smith’s walk, Arnold scored to make it 6-2.
Bryant McCarty entered the game for Russia.
Lachey had an infield single to make it 6-3 and a walk to Brandon Barhorst loaded the bases.
Bryce Kennedy and Parker Riley had RBI singles to right field to make it a 6-5 game and Max Schutt’s sacrifice fly tied it to set up the seventh inning rally.
Russia had done a great job of playing small ball all game and all six runs came after two were out in the inning.
The Raiders made it 1-0 in the first.
After Connor Monnin and Counts had walked, Monnin hustled home from second when a pickoff throw got away down the first base line.
Russia took control in the third, scoring four runs after two outs and the bases were empty to take a 5-0 lead.
Zach Sherman was hit by a pitch, Counts singled. Hunter Cohee and McCarty both had RBI singles and two runs scored when Jared Goubeaux reached on an error, making it 5-0.
Lehman threated to get back in the game in the home third.
After Barhorst walked and stole second, Riley had a RBI single. Schutt was hit by a pitch and Arnold hit a ball that appeared to be ticketed for extra bases.
But Drew Sherman made a diving catch to end the inning and keept the score at 5-1.
Russia made it 6-1 in the fourth off Riley, who had relieved Nate Bosway.
Deion Puthoff reached on an error and with two outs, Zach Sherman had a RBI single to make it 6-1.
It stayed that way until Lehman’s amazing comeback in the seventh.