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Norwalk controls Huron from outset in non-league win

By JOSH MORGRET • Updated Apr 30, 2019 at 9:22 PM

SANDUSKY — Nine pitches and nine strikes resulting in three strikeouts.

It is more commonly known as an "Immaculate inning" that has occurred just 94 times by a pitcher in Major League Baseball history.

Thomas Gfell recorded one such inning on Tuesday, helping Norwalk slug past Huron, 4-1, in non-league action at Sports Force Park in Sandusky.

Gfell's perfect inning came in the sixth inning as he came on in relief of starter Justin Sommers. Gfell also pitched a scoreless seventh, allowing one hit to finish off the victory for the Truckers (13-7).

"Sometimes it goes the way you plan it and sometimes it doesn’t," Norwalk coach Wes Douglas said. "Justin has been good on the mound his last couple of outings. I asked him for seven innings and he gave us five, but he was near 100 pitches."

Norwalk jumped on the Tigers (11-8) quickly in the first inning. Leadoff hitter Garrett Obringer was hit by a pitch before stealing second base. Nate Adelman, who struggled in Saturday's doubleheader against Edison, came through with a RBI single.

"I think Nate hit the ball hard two or three times today," Douglas said of the sophomore. "He is a good hitter. His mechanics are fine. He just has to fight through it. He came through today."

Ian Minor then walked on four pitches, and Sam Battles poked a double into right field, scoring Adelman. Tony Weisenburger followed with a sacrifice fly to score Minor for a quick 3-0 advantage.

"It has been a while," said Douglas of the early lead. "We were a little more aggressive on the bases. We did not do a whole lot of small ball today. We opened it up a bit and that makes the game easier."

Norwalk added another run in the second inning, but the inning could have been bigger.

Luke Weaver was hit by a pitch to start the inning and stole second. Garrett Obringer singled into center field as Weaver took third, but Eli Obringer hit into a double play on the first pitch he saw. That scored Weaver, but a flyout by Adelman ended the inning.

"We have a lot of young guys that are trying to find themselves at the plate," Huron coach Dan Lindsley said. "We have a good top four or five. When you play a team that is as talented as Norwalk is — they throw strikes."

Meanwhile, that was more than enough offense for Sommers on the mound. Huron got two runners on in the first inning, but a fielder's choice ended the frame. The Tigers' starting pitcher Christian Scroggins singled to start the second, but he was caught stealing later in the inning.

"Offensively, we have to put the bat on the ball," Lindsley said. "We have to make the other team make plays. That has been our theme all year. We did not do a very good job of that."

Huron scored its lone run in the fifth inning as the Truckers struggled defensively. Casey Scroggins singled and after a popout, Reid Witter and Cole Parker each reached on errors to bring in Scroggins. Sommers bounced back to get another a popout and his fifth strikeout to keep the Tigers at bay.

"We have done a really good job of battling from behind," Lindsley said. "We are trying to get our guys to get ahead. We are really good and we have played some good teams and played competitively."

Aiden Kastor pitched the final four innings in relief for Huron. He allowed two hits and two walks with one strikeout.

"He has done a really good job all year of throwing strikes," Lindsley said. "He is not really a pitcher, but he has grown into being a pitcher just because he understands it."

Norwalk committed five errors in the win, giving the Truckers 16 errors over the last four games.

"That is baseball," Douglas said. "If you look around high school box scores, which I do, you do not see many zeroes in the error column. Extra outs come back to haunt you in big games. We want to eliminate them, but we will be OK."

Sommers picked up the win for the Truckers, allowed one run on three hits and four walks. Gfell struck out three and threw just 21 pitches — something that could loom big for Norwalk.

"Thomas was on a pitch count," Douglas said. "We were going to go with Garrett Obringer in the seventh inning, but Thomas cruised in that sixth. His arm always come back fine, and we have him, Nolan (Flowers), and Garrett all available (today) now."

Huron is scheduled to return to action on Wednesday in Sandusky Bay Conference Bay Division action against Edison while Norwalk hosts fellow co-leader of the SBC Lake Division, Perkins.


Huron     000 010 0 — 1 6 1

Norwalk 310 000 x — 4 5 2

WP: Sommers; LP: Scroggins

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