Tucked away: Heroics in both ends of seventh inning allow QND baseball team to survive, sweep season series from QHS
QUINCY — For Tucker Tollerton, the choice was an easy one.
When asked which was more rewarding Monday evening — his game-winning hit in the top of the seventh inning or a game-saving relief performance in the bottom of the frame — Tollerton’s response was immediate.
Well, almost immediate. First, there was a huge smile.
“The hit was more satisfying … definitely,” Tollerton said.
Tollerton’s heroics at the plate and on the mound punctuated a 4-3 victory over rival Quincy High School in a crisply played and highly entertaining matchup before a crowd of about 250 at QHS.
Notre Dame’s victory was its 25th straight and raised its record to 28-1.
“This was the most satisfying win of the season, with the crosstown rivalry and everything,” Tollerton said.
QND scored three runs in the top the seventh — all with two out — with Tollerton delivering a two-run double down the right-field line that put the Raiders on top 4-3.
A few minutes later, Tollerton was summoned from his center-field position on defense in the bottom of the inning — with two outs and two on — to try and preserve the victory for starter Jake Schisler.
And that he did, with a little help from his friends.
The first and only batter Tollerton faced, QHS shortstop Blake Bunch, stroked a base hit to left fielder. QND outfielder Evan Kenning fielded the hit and fired a one-bounce strike home to catcher Mike Stupavasky. The throw beat base runner Tykell Hammers with ease, ending the threat and preserving the second-longest win streak in QND history.
“When I let go of the ball, it felt good,” Kenning said.
Stupavsky, who said Bunch hit a hanging curve, was not surprised QND was able to rally like it did.
“We know everyone on this team has the ability to get a big hit or make a big play defensively,” he said.
Raiders coach Rich Polak had the expected sigh of relief following the QND comeback.
“What a game,” he said. “We had played seven games last week, and I think we came out a little flat.”
QND entered Monday with an 18-game streak of scoring 10 or more runs, but managed just one run and four hits off QHS right-hander Joe Schroeder over the first 6 2/3 innings.
“(Schroeder) did a good job of keeping us off balance,” Polak said.
Blue Devils coach Rick Lawson also had praise for Schroeder, who was lifted after reaching the 105-pitch limit during the top of the seventh. He struck out four, walked three and allowed four hits.
“(Schroeder) pitched well enough to win,” Lawson said. “Our plan was to go after (QND’s) lineup with a lot of off-speed pitches. Our kids did everything we asked of them.
“This was a tough one to lose. Our kids played a good game.”
Notre Dame’s victory completed a season sweep of QHS. The Raiders topped QHS 16-1 on May 2.
The Blue Devils fall to 12-14 and have dropped five straight. The current slide follows a stretch that saw them win eight of nine.
Schisler’s record improved to 6-0 as he struck out four, walked one and allowed six hits.
Four of QND’s six hits went for extra bases. Jack Linenfelser clubbed a triple. Joining Tollerton with doubles were Stupavsky and Nolan Robb.
Lowe and Bunch each had a pair of hits for QHS. Evan Sohn (triple) and Bunch (double) delivered extra-base blows.
Miss Clipping Out Stories to Save for Later?
Click the Purchase Story button below to order a print of this story. We will print it for you on matte photo paper to keep forever.