Districts: Naffziger Notches Another Gem in Semis, Tigers Fall In Final
Spencer Naffziger pitched his team into the District finals going the distance with a one hit shutout and setting down 8 Eagles on strikes in the process.
"Spencer went out and did for us what he has done all season and that is pitch lights out,”said Coach Kirk Rider. “We were watching his pitch count and he was only at like 60 pitches through 5 innings. He is seriously one of the top pitchers in the area and he deserves the recognition. I couldn't be more proud of how he has handled himself this season."
The Tigers kept chipping away at Oakridge sophomore ace Koleman Wall and after he left the mound in the 6th the Tigers put together a rally to distance themselves from the Eagles.
In the top of the 7th Casey Geers drew a leadoff walk and got to third on a hit by Naffziger. Zach VanderWeide battled to a full count then laced a single scoring Geers then Gabe Castro ripped one up the middle plating two more.
"It seemed like every inning we had a chance to score but just couldn't get that big hit until the 7th inning. Our guys did a great job of fighting off pitches and we were finally able to run Wall off the mound in the 6th."
In the title game the Tigers ran into one of the many fine arms Sparta has in their dugout and struggled to keep pace with the offensively opportunistic Spartans
"Bryce Davis was the difference in the championship game,” said Coach Rider. “We knew it had to be a low scoring game for us to have a chance and they took advantage of a couple of our mistakes. We battled at the plate and managed to get 6 or 7 hits off Bryce but couldn't string them together."
Gabe Casto doubled twice in the game and Tommy Kelley also added a two sacker in the loss.
The Tigers wrap up a season that ended with a 23-12-5 mark including 9-5 in the CSAA Gold.
"We lose 5 great seniors (Casey Geers , Ian Francisco, Zach VanderWeide, Tommy Kelley, Spencer Nafziger) this year and it was an honor to be able to coach those 5 young men. In the last two season they have been a huge part of the turn around for Grant baseball and the 48 wins is proof of that."