Couch Brilliant but Spartans Fall in Bottom of the Ninth

FERRUM, VA – The York College baseball team got a strong eight innings from starter Joey Couch but the Spartans allowed three runs in the bottom of the ninth as Ferrum College posted a 3-2 walk off win on Saturday night in Ferrum, VA.

The Spartans fall to 11-27 overall while the Panthers improve to 18-20 for the year.

Couch and Ferrum starter Brandon West were outstanding all night long. Couch threw up eight scoreless innings for the Green and White in a career-best start for the sophomore. West was equally as outstanding as he allowed just two runs, one earned in 8.1 innings of work.

The Spartans got on the board thanks to a Ferrum error with two outs in the fourth. Senior Rob Klinck made the Panthers pay with an RBI single as the Spartans grabbed a 1-0 lead.

The Green and White added a second run in the top of the ninth as senior Kyle Cook doubled to left field leading off the frame. He moved to third on a balk and scored on a Justin Cohen double to right. The Spartans had two chances to get Cohen home from second but reliever Brandon Chocklette entered the game and got the final two outs of the inning for the Panthers.

The Panthers began their game-winning rally off Spartan junior Brandon Ullom with a pair of walks to lead off the inning. The Spartans were unable to get an out on a fielder's choice as the Panthers loaded the bases with no outs. Jason Parker had an RBI ground out as the tying run moved to third and the winning run advanced to second. Ryan Easterly tied the game with an RBI single and then Taryn Hayden won the game on an RBI fielder's choice.

Chocklette earned the win as he faced two batters and got two outs for the Panthers. Ullom suffered his fourth loss of the year against one win as he allowed three runs, two earned, on one hit with two walks in a third of an inning of work.

Couch deserved a better fate than his no decision. He ended the game with a career-high ten strikeouts while he did walk five and allow three hits. West allowed five hits with three strikeouts and no walks in his 8.1 innings of action, as he too, received a no decision.

Easterly was the offensive star for Ferrum as he had three of the Panthers' four hits. Parker, Easterly, and Hayden had the Panthers' RBI in the win.

Cohen and Klink each had two hits and an RBI for the Green and White. Cohen also scored one of the Spartans' two runs. Cook was the other Spartan with a base hit as he registered his 11th double of the year.

The Spartans and Panthers conclude the 2011 regular season on Sunday afternoon with a 1:00 pm contest in Ferrum, VA.

Photo: Joey Couch delivers a pitch to the plate earlier this year. Photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgefoto.com)