MUNSTER | Hit or get hit -- those were the only results for Griffith’s Tyler Lipski on Monday night.
The No. 8 hitter alternated between singling for the team and taking one for it, but the second of his two hits bruised Munster the deepest.
Lipski hit a tie-breaking single with one out and runners on the corners as Times No. 7 Griffith atoned for seven errors with seven runs in a 7-6 road win over Munster in Northwest Crossroads Conference action.
A first-year starter at second base, Lipski came up with the score tied at 6-6 and one out in the top of the seventh. The junior former outfielder and catcher ripped a single through the left side of a drawn-in infield to score Kyle Buikema with the winning tally.
“I saw runners in scoring position and had to step up and get them in,” Lipski said. “This boosts my confidence.”
The teams replay each other today at Griffith.
The wind at Munster helped the Panthers’ offense, as Matt Colomes hit a home run to left-center field to put the Panthers (5-5, 4-2 NCC) up 2-1 in the third inning. Starting pitcher Jesse Smith hit a solo shot just over the fence in left to put his team ahead 5-3 in the fifth.
“Right before that I was telling the guys not to worry and just to get the bats going,” Smith said. “Errors happen. It’s the game of baseball.”
Smith did not factor in the decision, as reliever Austin Brown earned his first win with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless (but not scareless) relief.
Munster (6-5, 1-2) scored unearned runs in the second, fifth and sixth, the final game-tying run coming on a two-out single that scored a runner who had reached on an overthrow.
Scott Shaner had three doubles for Munster, adding two runs and two RBIs. Leadoff hitter Craig Dedelow reached base twice via error and scored both times.
Alex DelRio put Munster up 3-2 with a run-scoring single before Austin Brown’s fielder’s choice tied it and Brett Brinkley’s sacrifice fly put the Panthers up 4-3 in the fourth.
“The kids played their butts off,” Griffith coach Brian Jennings said. “The kids aren’t happy with this win, and that’s good.
“But at the end of the day, we did what we needed to do.”
Munster had two runners on with two outs in the seventh before a groundout ended the game.
“They just caught one more break than we did,” Munster coach Bob Shinkan said. “They made a lot of errors, and we took advantage of some of them, but they took advantage of us giving them walks and hit batters.”
Griffith had three walks and four hit batsmen and put the leadoff hitter on base in six of seven innings.
“Most of the time we were ahead in the count,” Shinkan said. “We’re going to have to get smarter on that.”