Botkins rallies past Houston for league win

BOTKINS — Ending a streak of 11 straight scoreless innings, the Botkins Trojans scored twice in the fourth inning to cut into their 3-0 deficit and scored two more in the fifth to take the lead for good at 4-3.

The Trojans added three insurance runs in their final at-bat to land a 7-3 comeback win Monday over the Houston Wildcats in a Shelby County Athletic League contest at Botkins Community Park.

“Saturday we had a good game against Lehman [Catholic] but we didn’t score any runs,” Botkins varsity coach Phil Groves said. “[Today] we turned the bats on. We got some production.”

Houston scored twice in the first and once in the fourth to grab a 3-0 lead Monday against Trojans starter Alex Roberts.

Zach Greve singled to start the fourth inning and scored on an RBI single by Mitch Goubeaux.

Pinch-hitter Spencer Stutsman brought home Goubeaux to reduce Botkins’ deficit to 3-2.

Reid Manger singled and scored on a Roberts’ double in the fifth. Christian Hoskins singled home Roberts for the tying run. Roger Miller doubled home Hoskins to give Botkins a 4-3 lead.

The Trojans scoreless streak dated back to the fifth inning of a win by run-rule Thursday over Fairlawn, which gave them their first SCAL win of the season.

Botkins added three runs in the sixth inning to cushion their lead.

Houston went 1-2-3 in the seventh to end the game.

Roberts exited the game after five innings with the lead, giving him the win Monday. Miller pitched two perfect innings in relief to earn a save.

“Alex did a good job,” Groves said. “He was scheduled to go Saturday but we changed the rotation so he went today. He kept us in the game early. He didn’t walk a lot of guys, threw strikes and attacked the zone. He put us in position to where we could win. We didn’t give him a lot of run support.

“Roger came in and shut the door. They both did a really good job.”

After an 0-3 start in league play, Groves described the feeling of getting another win in SCAL play.

“It’s a lot better than being 1-4,” he said. “These are the games you have to win, against the teams at the bottom of the league. Coming to play every day is huge. You can’t take any of them for granted.”

Roberts, Hoskins, Greve, Jacob Place and Manger each had two hits Monday for Botkins. Manger scored after both hits.

The Trojans are now 3-4 overall and 2-3 in the SCAL. They are 2-1 in the last three games.

Groves evaluated his team’s status at this point in the season.

“To start off we had a lot of injuries and sickness going around,” he said. “The flu hit us pretty hard. Everybody is back and healthy now. We’re starting to go in the right direction. We played well (Monday) when we needed.”

Botkins will be in action today for another SCAL game against the Russia Raiders.