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Rootstown tops Springfield 6-2 behind 15 K's from Harless

ROOTSTOWN, OH- The Rootstown Rovers played host to the Springfield Spartans on a cool, windy day at Rootstown Community Park. The Rovers were looking to bounce back from a 6-2 loss at Mogadore while Springfield attempted to notch their first win on the season.

The Spartan's David Thurston got them going in the 1st with a leadoff double. After the next two batters were retired, Brady Hahn sent a ground ball to short. The throw got away from the first baseman allowing Thurston to come around to score. Springfield took an early 1-0 lead.

The Rovers answered right back in the bottom half. Ethan White reached 1st base on a dropped third strike that got away from the catcher. After a Weaver flyout, Austin Biggin drove a double into the right center field gap scoring White. Tony Karp followed with a double of his own bringing home Biggin.

Tony Karp drives home the Rovers 2nd run with a double in the 1st

Spartans pitcher Jaden Bracken was able to get the final two batters and the Rovers led 2-1 after one.

Both teams went down in order in the 2nd inning. In the top of the 3rd Rovers pitcher Bryce Harless allowed a single but struck out three giving him 6 K's through the first three innings.

Rovers Bryce Harless strikes out his 3rd batter of the 3rd inning

Rootstown gave Harless a nice cushion with a 3-run bottom of the 3rd. Joe Weaver smacked a 1-out single which was followed by Biggin's second double of the game putting runners at 2nd and 3rd with one out. Tony Karp was intentionally walked to load the bases. Sean Boveington then laid down a squeeze bunt. The Spartans attempted to get the runner at home but he was called safe leaving the bases loaded and scoring Weaver from third.

The Rovers Sean Boveington lays down a suicide squeeze bunt scoring a run in the 3rd

Harless then reached on a fielders choice to short scoring Biggins. The throw to first got away allowing Karp to come around and score. The Rovers expanded their lead to 5-1 after three.

Rootstown picked up another run on a fielders choice groundout by White making it a 6-1 game. Bryce Harless continued to dominate on the mound for the Rovers retiring the side in order in the 4th and 5th, striking out the side in the 5th.

Bryce Harless finishes off the 5th inning striking out the side

To start the 6th, Harless struck out Thurston for his 7th strikeout in the last eight batters. The Spartans were able to put together back to back singles by Michael Knox and Rylan Sussler putting runners at the corners. Sussler was able to steal second base with Knox coming home to score on the throw down to second. Harless was able to retire the final two batters. Rootstown led 6-2. The Rovers picked up a single from Alex Ely in the bottom half but did not score.

Harless came back out for the 7th for the Rovers looking for a complete game victory. He struck out the side in the 7th to finish off the Spartans giving him 15 K's for the game. The Rovers prevailed 6-2.

Bryce Harless finishes off the Spartans striking out the side in the 7th

It was a masterful performance on the mound for the sophomore Bryce Harless. In the 7 inning complete game he allowed only 1 earned run on 5 hits while striking out 15 and did not walk a batter. Tony Karp and Austin Biggin each had two hits and drove in a run to pace the offense.

I spoke with Harless, Tony Karp and coach Keith Waesch after the win.


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