WHITEHALL - Northern Valley manager Brad Rauch knows the game of baseball is unpredictable and anything can happen throughout the course of a ball game.
The Northern Valley head man saw both sides first-hand in his team's opening round Lehigh Valley Legion Baseball League Tournament game against Fullerton.
"You're going to have good days and you're going to have bad days," said Rauch. "That's just the way it is sometimes."
After trailing twice in the game to the No. 3 seed Fullerton, the No. 6 seeded Chargers came back to build a four-run lead in the top of the sixth inning.
An inning later, the game took a turn for the worse for the Chargers. The bottom of the seventh did not treat Northern Valley kindly, with Fullerton coming back to score four runs of their own to tie the contest.
With the score locked at 6-6 in extra innings darkness began to become a problem as the game ran late into the evening. After consultation with his peers the home plate umpire chose to suspend the game until Thursday evening at 5:45 p.m. The Chargers will now travel back to Whitehall High School Sports Complex's baseball diamond this evening to see if they can gain the LV Legion victory.
"We just have to come back tomorrow and finish this out," Rauch said. "We didn't get the relief pitching we wanted (in the bottom of the seventh inning), but it's all part of baseball. Hopefully, we can be here for a half hour tomorrow and get a run in and we'll be done."
After Fullerton took the lead twice the Chargers capitalized on four walks and two hit-batsmen to cash in on four runs to take a 6-3 lead with an inning to go.
However, the Chargers relief pitching couldn't seal the victory.
Instead, it was Fullerton's turn to mount a comeback of their own.
Harris loaded the bases on a hit batsman and two walks. Kyle Schomp surrendered a bases loaded walk and Zach Stopay came up with a RBI-single to help Fullerton pull within one. A wild pitch accounted for the game-tying run as it allowed Stopay to cross home plate.
On Stopay's RBI-single, Northern Valley's centerfielder Payton Bachman made a great defensive play to record the inning's first out. Bachman fielded the ball and threw a dart to Cody Hallman gunning down Carlos Urena, who was trying to reach third base. A play later, Talon Williams finished off a fielder's choice catching Fullerton's Zach Delp trying to put himself on third.
After relief pitcher Kyle Schomp got injured trying to put an end to the disastrous inning, Cody Hallman came in to try and settle things down for Northern Valley.
On his fifth pitch, it looked as the game may end sooner than later as Hallman threw a pitch low in the dirt. Matt Williams, who had just came in that inning to catch, was able to block the ball. The low pitch tempted Fullerton's Zack Bradley to try and score the game-winner, but before he could get back to third base Williams threw a bullet to third making Bradley the final out.
"It's just a shame it had to come to a tie ball game after seven and we have to come back here tomorrow. We just have to come back ready to fight. We want a championship, so if it means we have to come back and play two more innings tomorrow and go nine, we will do it. We just got to get this to the end."
Northern Vy. 002 004 0 - 6 4 1
Fullerton 101 100 3 - 6 8 1
Palansky, Harris (7th), Schomp (7th), Hallman (7th) and Breidinger, M. Williams (7th); Umbenhauer, Bradley (6th) and Delp.