|Rice pitches Jefferson by Paulding|
|Monday, April 22, 2013 8:34 AM|
DELPHOS — Friday night was definitely not a good day to play baseball at Wildcat Field, with howling winds toward right-center field, cold temperatures and just an overall miserable day.
Junior right-hander Tyler Rice didn’t let that bother him as he pitched an effective six frames in pacing the Wildcats to an 11-8 Northwest Conference triumph.
“To do what he did today in these conditions is a great effort. They canceled a major-league game today in Chicago because of conditions like this,” Jefferson coach Doug Geary said. “He doesn’t have the 85-mph fastball but he can pitch. He puts the ball where he wants to: in and out, up and down. If you can throw the ball where you want, you are going to get a lot of people out.”
He gave up a run in the top of the first as Michael Bauer (3-for-4, 2 runs, 2 doubles) led off with a double to deep left, advanced on a bounceout by Javier Gonzales and scored on Quentin Vance’s bloop to short right for a 1-0 edge.
Ross Thompson led off the Jefferson (9-4, 2-0) half of the frame against Paulding starter Kyle Kauser (0-2; 3 1/3 innings, 11 hits, 10 runs, 9 earned, 1 walk 1 strikeout) with a liner to left, stole second and scored as Zach Ricker doubled to center. Austin Jettinghoff’s grounder into left put runners at the corners. Ricker scored as Zach Kimmett forced Jettinghoff at second and he remained at first.
“We have a lot of young guys in there, we played three freshmen today. We actually got off to a lead but then surrendered it,” Paulding coach Mike Leach noted. “These conditions were brutal and that’s part of the learning process for a young team; you have to play, no matter the conditions.”
Jefferson made it 4-1 in the second. Jordan Herron beat out a nibbler to third and Seth Wollenhaupt singled to center. Gage Townsend-Schleeter laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners and both scored as Thompson (3-for-5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs) grounded sharply into center. Paulding (0-7, 0-2 NWC) got two runs in the top of the third. Corbin Edwards walked to start it and was running as Bauer bounced out. Gonzales looped a double to center, plating Edwards. He advanced on a wild pitch and an out later, scored as Damien Egnor got aboard on an error to reduce the deficit to 4-3.
Jefferson answered with one in its half-frame. With one down, Drew Kortokrax was safe on a throwing error, advanced on a pair of wild pitches with Zavier Buzard at the plate and scored on his groundout to make it 5-3, Delphos. Herron (2-for-2) lined a hit into center but was left stranded.
Justin Adams got aboard on an error with one down in the fourth and advanced on a bounceout by Alex Arellano but no farther.
The Wildcats sent 11 to the dish in the fourth. With one down, Thompson doubled to center. Ricker was hit by a pitch and Jettinghoff (2-for-4) blooped a hit to short center to load the bases. Kimmett walked to force home Thompson and a Kortokrax blooper to center plated Ricker for a 7-3 spread. Buzard grounded a knock into left to score Jettinghoff and Kimmett to make it 9-3 — pushing Kortokrax at third and taking second on the throw home — and finish Kauser on the mound (for Arellano; 2 2/3 IPs, 1 hit, 1 earned run, 5 BBs, 4 Ks). He threw a wild pitch with Herron at the plate to score Kortokrax and put Buzard at third. Herron walked and Wollenhaupt was plunked to reload the sacks but the next two batters were retired to end the inning at 10-3.
Bauer beat out an infield hit to third in the Panther fifth but was picked off base by Rice.
The hosts finished their scoring in the fifth. With one gone, Jettinghoff walked and Kimmett doubled to deep left. Kortokrax walked to load the bases. An out later, Tyler Wrasman walked to force in Jettinghoff for an 11-3 scoreboard. However, Wollenhaupt bounced out to end the frame.
Egnor got aboard to start the Paulding sixth on an error and moved up on a grounder by Kauser. An out later, he got to third as Adams was safe on another miscue but Rice got the third out.
Townsend-Schleeter got a free pass to open the Delphos sixth but got caught stealing.
Paulding made its rally in the top of the seventh. With one down against reliever Drew Kortokrax, Bauer doubled to right center and stole third. Gonzales walked. Vance (2-for-4) doubled to right center, scoring Bauer, moving Gonzales to third and bringing Tyler Wrasman to the mound. He was greeted with a 2-run double to deep center by Egnor to make it 11-6, Jefferson. Kauser beat out an infield hit to put runners on the corners; as he took off for second, Gerod Harder looped a single to short left to plate Egnor and again put runners on the corners. Adams bounced out to score Kauser for an 11-8 deficit. Arellano lined a hit to right to again put runners on the corners and bring Thompson to the mound. He promptly fanned Edwards to end the contest and earn the save.
“We hit the ball well today. We got the lead early and gave a couple of runs back but we kept adding on,” Geary added. “We still aren’t as consistent at the plate as we’d like but we are getting there. We made enough plays in the field to be successful; we had a couple of errors but those happen at every level. You have to make the routine ones.”
Leach just wants his charges to get better.
“We did that. We got our freshman pitcher in there — Alex — and he did a nice job in relief,” Leach added. “Jefferson hit the ball hard today. We got too far behind and we did make a late charge; we just waited a little too long.”
Jefferson is set to play at Leipsic 11 a.m. today for doubleheader action but the game may be moved to Wildcat Field. Paulding hosts LCC 5 p.m. Monday.
|Last Updated on Monday, April 22, 2013 9:56 AM|