Michael Katz Walk-Off Two Run Homer Gives Tribe 6-7 win over Army
Some William & Mary fans are calling it the “greatest baseball game” that they’ve ever seen.
Tribe baseball (2-1) amazingly managed to erase a 2-6 deficit to defeat Army on Sunday evening, and win the season-opening series against the Black Knights in one of the most exciting games in recent Tribe history. The big win came after a rough 4-2 loss in the first game of a the double-header. Junior left fielder Michael Katz’s two run bomb in the bottom of the ninth was his second home run of the game, and his third of the series. Katz went two for four on the day, with a solo-shot in the fourth inning, and the homer to win the game.
“We woke up the fourth or fifth inning, and luckily we were able to pull it out,” said Katz.
Army didn’t have the problem of needing to ”wake up.” The Black Knights got off to a quick start, scoring two runs off of sophomore pitcher Mitchell Aker in the first inning. Army got their first run off of a Mark McCants single, and brought their second run home with Jacob Paige’s RBI groundout. The Tribe was quick to respond, however, as senior second baseman Ryan Lindemuth came up with an RBI single to cut the Black Knights lead to 2-1.
Army tallied on another run in the top of the third with a McCants double to right field, scoring Patrick Mescher and putting the Black Knights up 3-1.
Things really started to go wrong in the top of the fourth inning. Harold Earls added to the lead with a two run single, and was then brought home by McCants to extend the lead to 6-1. That would end the day for Aker, who pitched four innings, allowed seven hits, six earned runs, one walk, and had two strikeouts.
Michael Katz cut the lead to four in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run to left field.
Freshman Nick Brown came in to pitch for the Tribe in the fifth inning, and shut down the Army hitters for the next four innings. He struck out one batter, and allowed only three hits.
The Green & Gold got down to business in the bottom of the sixth. Junior transfer Nick Thompson hit his first home run with the Tribe to start the inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, freshman Tim Hoehn brought in a run with an infield single. Just when it looked like the Tribe was done, the lead was cut to one when Army’s shortstop couldn’t come up with a ball off the bat of senior outfielder Derek Lowe.
Kevin Casey came in to pitch for the Tribe in the top of the ninth. He had little trouble keeping the Army lead at one. McCants was the only man to reach base, which he did with a single, but Casey struck out one batter, and the other batters flew out. Casey would finish with the win.
Thompson started the bottom of the ninth with a single. Lindemuth moved him over to second with a sacrifice bunt. Then, it was showtime. Katz wasted no time, as he demolished the first pitch he saw off of Garrison Franklin, sending it over the left center field fence to give the Tribe a miraculous 6-7 walk-off win.
“A phrase we use a lot is ‘Just keep playing. No matter what happened previously, just keep playing,’” said head coach Brian Murphy. This was Murphy’s first series as the Tribe’s head coach.
The Tribe looks to continue its winning ways when they travel to #1 Virginia on Tuesday. Live stats are available through GameTracker.