Roberts hits walk-off grand slam in Owls’ win

Jake Roberts isn’t a stranger to late-game heroics, but that didn’t make his most recent highlight any less memorable.

With his team down 6-3 in the seventh inning, the Seymour High School junior blasted a walk-off grand slam to left field — on the first pitch of his final at-bat — to propel the Owls (4-5) to a 7-6 win over Madison.

“One of the things we’ve talked about over the past two weeks is being aggressive in 0-0 and 2-0 counts,” Seymour coach Jeremy Richey said. “He got an 0-0 pitch he could handle and drove it. We put a lot of things together in that last inning to get the dramatic finish. We were really good about competing in that seventh inning.”

The homer was the second of the walk-off variety for Roberts in 2019, as he also slammed a game-winner past the fence against Lowell (Michigan) on April 6.

Down 1-0, the Owls’ Matthew Moore popped out to second base to score R.J. Kleber, tying the game in the bottom of the first inning. With the next at-bat, Devin Hill homered to center field to give the Owls a one-run lead.

After giving up a run on a double in the second inning, the Owls were held scoreless until the fourth.

With two outs and as many strikes, Jayden Brown hit a home run over the left field fence to put the Owls up 3-2.

The Cubs added four runs in the fifth inning, scoring on an error, an RBI single and a two-run homer.

Neither team would score again until the decisive seventh inning.

After the leadoff batter, Michio Sekiguchi, struck out, Kleber was hit with a pitch to get on base. Takumi Nishiwaki then lined out before Moore was walked and Hill singled to load the bases.

Roberts ended the game from there.

While he’s happy with the win, Richey said the team struggled at times in the game.

“We were not very good for a lot of the game tonight,” he said. “We made some errors and gave up some hits in counts when we were ahead. Their kid threw a great game. He was a lefty that mixed it up really well. We made some adjustments and got a break. Their catcher dropped a ball that could have been the third out.”

Seymour will travel to Jennings County on Friday.