A walk-off left Forest City on the wrong side of a 3-2 loss to Garner-Hayfield-Ventura Wednesday night in Garner.
It was a crucial game for the Cardinals that, with a loss, would’ve needed help from other conference teams to climb back into the conference title race, looking for their first since 2016. The team each scored one run in the third, and Forest City went ahead 2-1 in the top of the seventh, but GHV scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to walk it off. The win evens both teams at 8-1 in the conference standing, and if they both win out, they will share the title. Forest City hasn’t collected the trophy since 2017; they last shared a title in 2012 with Newman Catholic.
Pitching was strong on both sides, but Matthew Steffensmeier – unknown coming into the game – was the star of the night for GHV. The only tough break for Seffensmeier on the night was that he received a no-decision leaving in a tied 1-1 game and responsible for the Forest city go-ahead run in the top of the seventh. He tossed six and two-thirds of four-hit baseball allowing just one earned run. He walked three Forest City batters and struck out six. Noah Miller started for the Indians, also earning a no-decision. His stellar start allowed just one run on nine GHV hits and no walks or strikeouts.
Full Interview with Steffensmeier
Owen Pueggel earned the win on the mound after coming in as relief for Steffensmeier; Pueggel tossed just six pitches. Reese Moore picked up the loss for Forest City also in relief. Moore surrendered two runs on one hit over one inning, striking out two.
Kellan Moore continued to be Forest City’s best hitter; the sophomore collected two more hits in three at-bats. Jack Ermer, Braden Boehnke, and Pueggel all collected multiple hits for GHV. Brody Boehnke is one of the state’s best hitters, and he collected two of the GHV RBI’s, including the game-tying sac-fly. Finally, Rafe Van Duesseldorp hit the ball that brought home the winning run. Forest City made a play on the ball, but the throw home sailed high, forcing Forest City catcher Kellen Moore to leave the plate with his foot to snag it.
Forest City is back in action tonight against Waverly Shell-Rock. GHV is back in action on Friday against West Hancock.