Rubber match of the series set for 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Concordia University

The Reynolds baseball team only needed one more out to escape with an extra-inning, road victory at Central Catholic on Monday. That is when Charlie Farrenkoph dug in for the Rams and stunned Reynolds with a two-run, walk-off single to give Central Catholic a 6-5 win in nine innings.

Farrenkoph came up with the Rams trailing 5-4 with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, the precise situation every little leaguer dreams of. He quickly fell behind in the count, 0-2, though. With Central Catholic down to its final strike, Farrenkoph delivered a sharp drive into centerfield to bring in the tying and winning runs. Before that at-bat, he was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

The pitch Farrenkoph won the game on wasn’t terrible, but it got too much of the plate and was probably too good with two strikes. That essentially summed up the game for Reynolds. The Raiders did some good things, but made far too many mistakes. Those mistakes came on the mound, at the plate, in the field and on the base paths.

“We did not play with confidence, at all. That is the first time we have done that all year,” Reynolds coach Kyle Swoboda said. “We let the situation get the best of us. We need to find that killer instinct instead of backing away from the situation.”

The Raiders hit the ball well enough to win at times as they compiled 14 base hits in the game. Unfortunately for them, several of those hits were followed by strikeouts or inning-ending double plays. Reynolds’ pitchers were also solid for the most part, but surrendered walks at inopportune times.

On the bases, the Raiders ran themselves into trouble a couple times, but the most crippling occasion came in the top of the eighth inning. With one out, Drew Martin-Cohn held at second base on a grounder to the shortstop, but dashed for third when the ball went through the legs of the Rams’ infielder. Martin-Cohn slid head first into third just ahead of the throw from the leftfielder, but kept on sliding past the bag on the slick turf and was tagged out.

Even with the hitting, pitching and running miscues, Reynolds still was in position to win. It was the Raiders’ fielding that allowed Central Catholic to come from behind, twice.

The first comeback happened in the fifth inning. Reynolds scored a run in the top-half of the inning to take a 3-0 lead. The Rams got one back in the bottom of the frame, but that seemed to be all when Farrenkoph grounded to shortstop. The throw to first was high and sailed into the dugout fence, allowing two runs to score.

Reynolds took the lead back with two runs in the ninth inning, thanks to an RBI-triple from Jay Rogers. Another error, coupled with a few key hits in the bottom of the inning, gave the Rams three more runs to win the game.

Mitchell Rose led the Raiders with three hits and two runs batted in. Alec Dehnert added two doubles. Reynolds’ 10-game winning streak was snapped with the loss.

Reynolds picked up a 4-3 win on its homefield Wednesday, setting the stage for the rubber match in the three-game series at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Concordia University.

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