|Wildcats, Cougars split opening twin bill|
|Monday, April 01, 2013 3:14 PM|
Jefferson junior Austin Jettinghoff connects for a deep double in the first game Saturday at Wildcat Field, bringing home Ross Thompson. Jettinghoff would also score as the Wildcats grabbed a 13-5 win in the opener. However, the visiting Van Wert Cougars won the nightcap with a 15-5 triumph. (Delphos Herald/Tom Morris)
By JIM METCALFE
DELPHOS — Jefferson and Van Wert opened the 2013 baseball regular season with a doubleheader on a nice Saturday afternoon at Wildcat Field in Delphos.
The host Wildcats used 16 bases-on-balls against three Van Wert left-handers, including starter Andrew Todd, to grab a 13-5 victory in the opener that took two hours and 50 minutes.
In the nightcap, the Cougars averted the sweep with a 15-5, 6-inning triumph.
The game was moved from Van Wert’s home field due to wet conditions. A 10-run inning in the bottom of the fourth in the first game put the Wildcats (1-1) up 13-5.
Drew Kortokrax (1-0) went four innings, ceding four hits and five runs (4 earned), walking two and fanning eight. He also went 2-for-3 at the plate, knocking in three. Jordan Herron threw the last three frames and struck out four. Austin Jettinghoff went 4-for-4 with four runs batted in and three runs scored, while Zavier Buzard was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Leadoff man Ross Thompson walked four times and scored twice.
With the first game beginning in brilliant sunshine, the Cougars went up 2-0 in the top of the first against Kortokrax (4 innings, 4 hits, 5 runs, 4 earned, 2 walks, 8 Ks) on a leadoff infield hit by Joey Hurless, a stolen base, a Nathan Stoller sacrifice, a solid 2-base knock to left center by Brandt Henry that scored Hurless and two misplayed grounders (Terin Contreras and Tyler Williams) that plated Henry.
The Wildcats tied it up right away against Todd (3 1/3 IPs, 6 hits, 5 earned runs, 5 walks, 4 Ks). Thompson walked, stole second and scored on a double to left by Jettinghoff. He moved up on a wild pitch and after Zach Kimmett walked, Kortokrax lined a shot up the gut to plate Jettinghoff for a 2-2 tie.
Jefferson went up 3-2 in the second. With one down, Gage Townsend-Schleeter hit a sharp single to left and stole second. Thompson walked but was eliminated on a grounder by Zach Ricker that put Townsend-Schleeter at third, from where he scored on a bloop to center by Jettinghoff. Stoller was hit by a pitch to commence the third inning and stole second with one out but was left there.
The Wildcats left the bases loaded (2-out infield hit by Buzard, a walk to Seth Wollenhaupt and a wild pitch on a third strike to Townsend-Schleeter) in the third, three of 14 ’Cats were left stranded. Van Wert went back up 5-3 in the fourth. Todd walked and an out later, Kevin Agler walked. Sean Miller doubled to right center that scored pinch-runner Justice Tussing. Hurless bounced out to short to score Agler and put Miller at third, from where he scored on a grounder to left by Stoller.
The Wildcats then sent 16 to the plate in the bottom half. They pieced together four hits and nine walks against three pitchers. With one out, Jettinghoff walked and Kimmett doubled to deep right, chasing Todd for Henry (0-1; 1/3 innings, 4 hits, 8 earned runs, 7 walks). He faced nine batters, retiring only one. Kortokrax greeted him with a 2-run triple to right center to tie the game at 5. Tyler Wrasman walked. Buzard sharply singled to left to score Kortokrax. Wollenhaupt walked to load the bases. An out later, Thompson and Ricker walked to score Wrasman and Buzard. Jettinghoff hit a sinking liner to center that fell for a hit to plate Wollenhaupt and Thompson for a 10-5 lead, putting runners on the corners. Jettinghoff stole second and a wild pitch scored Ricker. Kimmett walked and stole second. Kortokrax and Wrasman walked to force in Jettinghoff for a 12-5 lead and end Henry’s time on the mound, bringing in Ryan Stoller (2 1/2 IPs, 2 hits, 4 walks, 3 Ks). He walked Buzard to score Kimmett but finally got the third out. Herron came on in the top of the fifth and put together three straight 1-2-3 innings, fanning four.
The Red and White left a pair of runners on in each of the next two innings but could not add more runs to their total.
In the nightcap, with more overcast skies, an 8-run fourth frame put the Cougars in the driver’s seat.
The Cougars compiled 13 hits and seven walks against four Jefferson hurlers, including starter Thompson (0-1).
The left-handed Hurless (1-0) got the win with 3 1/3 innings of starting pitching (3 hits, 5 runs, 3 earned, 10 walks, 6 Ks). He also went 4-for-4, scoring four times, knocking in two RBIs and stealing three bases. Williams went 3-for-4 (2 runs, 2 RBIs), Todd 2-for-3 (2 RBIs) and Nathan Stoller 2-for-3 (2 RBIs).
Kortokrax went 2-for-2 (2 doubles) with two RBIs.
The Cougars went up 3-0 in the top of the first against Thompson (2 IPs, 8 hits, 5 earned runs, 1 BB, 1 K). Hurless doubled to left center, moved up on a wild pitch and scored on a single to right by N. Stoller. He was eliminated on Henry’s grounder and Henry stole second. He scored as Williams singled to center and the batter took second on the throw home. Contreras walked. An out later, Todd grounded a hit into center that plated Williams for a 3-0 edge.
The Wildcats answered with two in the bottom half. Thompson walked to lead it off. Ricker singled to left. Jettinghoff bounced into a double play that put Thompson at third. Kimmett walked. Kortokrax doubled to deep right to score Thompson; an error on the play allowed Kimmett to score for a 3-2 scoreboard. However, two runners were left stranded, two of The 11 they left on base in the second game.
The visitors went up 5-2 in the second. With one out, Hurless lined a shot up the gut, stole the next two bases and scored on a 2-out 2-bagger to the base of the fence in left by Henry. A wild pitch put Henry at third and he scored on a line single to right by Williams for that 5-2 edge.
The Wildcats got within 5-3 in the second. With one down, Townsend-Schleeter walked and Thompson was safe on an error. Both runners stole the next base, with an error on the throw to third allowing Townsend-Schleeter to score. Thompson advanced to third on a wild pitch. An out later, Jettinghoff walked but he was eliminated on a grounder by Kimmett to end the threat. Todd greeted Jefferson reliever Ricker (1 1/3 IPs, 3 hits, 6 runs, 3 earned, 4 BBs, 1 K) with a single to center to start the third but a Buzard-Thompson-Wrasman relay got him at second.
The Wildcats left the bases juiced in the home half — leadoff walk to Kortokrax (and two stolen bases), 1-out walks to Buzard (advancing to second on a wild pitch) and Herron. The Cougars then put together that 8-run frame in the fourth. Hurless led off with a bunt single and N. Stoller singled. Henry laid down a sacrifice bunt. A wild pitch plated Hurless and moved Stoller up to third. Williams walked. A misplayed grounder hit by Contreras scored Stoller and put runners on the corners. Back-to-back-to-back free passes to Tussing, Todd and Ryan Stoller plated Williams and Contreras for a 9-3 lead and ended the pitching of Ricker, bringing in Jettinghoff (1 2/3 IPs, 2 hits, 2 unearned runs, 2 Ks). An out later, Hurless singled to right to score Tussing and Todd and put R. Stoller at third; the throw home sent Hurless to second. Both runners scored on a misplayed grounder hit by N. Stoller for a 13-3 edge.
In the fourth, Ricker walked to start and Jettinghoff was hit by a pitch. An out hence, Kortokrax whacked a double to deep center that scored Ricker and put Jettinghoff at third. Wrasman walked to finish Hurless on the mound, with Mason Krugh taking over (2 2/3 IPs, 1 hit, 2 BBs). Buzard greeted him with a fly ball to left that scored Jettinghoff. After a wild pitch advanced Kortokrax and Wrasman up a base, Herron walked to load the bases. Krugh recorded the third out to end the uprising and keep the score at 13-5, Van Wert.
Van Wert stranded Williams on third in the fifth.
The Cougars got their final two runs in the sixth against fourth pitcher Wrasman. R. Stoller walked to lead it off and a misplayed grounder hit by pinch-hitter Mason Krugh allowed everyone to be safe. Hurless laid down a sacrifice bunt and all runners were safe on an error on the play. N. Stoller walked to send R. Stoller home and Henry flied out to right to score Krugh for a 15-5 score.
Kimmett led off the bottom half with a double down the right-field line and Kortokrax walked. An out later, Buzard grounded to short and in the process of Van Wert trying to turn a double play, Kortokrax was called for interference, ending the game.
“We showed good patience at the plate in both games. We fell behind both games, which is not what you want to do; we battled back the first game but we couldn’t the second,” Jefferson coach Doug Geary said. “It’s a long day for the opener. It’s nice to get some games in and see what we need to work on. We didn’t get a lot of hits but we were disciplined at the plate; we didn’t swing at a lot of bad pitches.”
Van Wert coach Charlie Witten was just happy to get on the field.
“This is really the first day we’ve been able to get on the field, so it wasn’t bad,” Witten added. “I didn’t like how we walked so many batters, so that is an area we have to work on. Still, it was the first live batters we’ve faced this year. I like how we came back in the second game.”
Both teams return to the diamond Monday: Jefferson hosting Kalida and Van Wert hosting Spencerville.