Midwest struck for the games first run in the sixth. With two outs, Armold walked the Tomahawks No. 2 hitter. Back-to-back singles followed to give the visitors the 1-0 lead.
The Merchants wasted little time in responding. Marco Caponi led off the inning with a single and two batters later Jason Wuerfel hit him home to tie the game at 1.
After Midwest reclaimed the lead in the seventh inning, the Merchants again responded. An RB-single by Nick Barrientos tied the game at 2, then Ty Foster hit the go-ahead double to put the Merchants ahead for the first time all game.
“It is really important in any baseball game that when the other team scores, you have to respond,” Spolyar said. “Our confidence was shook a little bit coming in from the weekend, but the guys continued to play hard and responded when they needed too. Should be a great spring board heading into the tournament on Friday.”
The lead was enough for Armold, who gave up a one-out double in the eighth, but retired six of the final seven batters.
The Merchants finished the regular season 16-7 and will host the league tournament starting Friday.
Lebanon’s first game will be at 5:30 p.m. at Memorial Park against the winner of the Franklin Cougars and Bloomington Stars (who play at 10 a.m. Friday). Those are the two teams that beat Lebanon in double headers last weekend.
“The first game is key,” Spolyar said. “We are going to throw Travis Herrin and he has had a great year for us. Winning the first game is huge, you don’t want to lose early and then have to fight through the losers’ bracket.”
All games are free of charge and will be played at Lebanon Friday through Sunday.