|Wildcats use 6-run 6th to squeeze by Jays|
|Tuesday, June 10, 2014 8:00 PM|
DHI Media Correspondent
DELPHOS — Getting on base and timely hitting — that’s how a team wins in baseball.
Good starting pitching is also a big key to victory.
The Jefferson Wildcats used that combination to perfection Monday night to defeat the St. John’s Blue Jays 6-4 in cross-town ACME action.
The game started out as a pitchers’ duel between Brandan Herron for Jefferson and St. John’s Jacob Youngpeter.
Herron gave up only two hits, no runs, no walks and punched out five batters in three innings of work.
Youngpeter struck out the first five Wildcats he faced to open the contest before Gage Mercer reached on a bobbled hit to third base in the second inning. Youngpeter then sent Adam Rode back to the bench with his sixth “K” against seven batters.
Youngpeter pitched himself into a jam after retiring the first batter of the third by giving up back-to-back walks to Damien Dudgeon and Hunter Binkley. After another strikeout, Gaige Rassman walked to load the bases with two outs. Youngpeter then retired Jacob Pulford on a groundout to maintain the shutout.
“He (Youngpeter) was on top of his game tonight,” said Wildcat ACME coach Doug Fitch. “We tried to increase his pitch count by being patient at the plate after the first two innings and we almost got to him in the third. Brandon pitched a great game, too, for three innings; we limited his pitch count to keep him from getting too tired.”
Ryan Bullinger stepped in to relieve Herron and gave up a walk to Jesse Ditto. Chad Etgen reached when his hit to second was fumbled to put two Jays on with no outs. Bullinger settled down to retire the next three batters to escape the inning with no damage.
Mercer reached base for the second time in the fourth inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Rode. Youngpeter got the final out on another strikeout to push the pitchers’ duel onto the fifth inning.
Timothy Kreeger and Jorden Boone walked and Josh Warnecke loaded the bases with a bloop to shallow left field. Austin Heiing popped out to Binkley at shortstop but Ditto came through with a solid hit to right to plate the runners for a 2-0 lead. Bullinger calmly retired the next two St. John’s batters to keep the game close.
The Wildcats were retired in order in the bottom of the fifth and the Jays went down quietly in the top of the sixth inning.
That was the calm before the storm as Jefferson rallied for six runs in the sixth inning to grab the lead. Rassman’s roller to second base was bobbled as he beat the throw to put the leadoff runner aboard. Pulford walked and Nick Fitch was hit by a Youngpeter pitch. Mercer came through again with a2-RBI single to right to knot the score. Jefferson took the lead for good as Fitch scored on a balk by the Jays’ young pitcher. Youngpeter recorded his 10th and final strike out of the game but hit Jordan Boop with a pitch to put runners on the corners. Heiing was called in to stop the rally and got an out on Dudgeon’s perfect sacrifice bunt. Binkley ripped a liner to center to score Mercer and Boop to close the book on Youngpeter. Bullinger’s rope to right brought Binkley around to score but Bullinger has thrown out at second trying to stretch his hit into a double for the final out.
St. John’s got a rally going of its own with two outs in their final at-bats. Ditto singled to center, Etgen reached when his grounder went under the fielder’s glove and Eric Vogt’s single loaded the bases. Youngpeter walked to score Ditto to cut the lead in half at 6-3. St. John’s continued to get runners on one base at a time when Buddy Jackson singled to left to score Etgen as the bases remained juiced.
Coach Fitch made a pitching change as he brought Easton Siefker in to finish the game. Siefker didn’t disappoint his coach as he got Kreeger to pop out to end the threat and save the victory.
“We graduated our entire starting rotation this year, so I was happy to see our underclassmen step up,” explained Fitch. “We’ve been preaching big hits all year and we got some tonight.”
St. John’s coach Mark Slate was also pleased with his team’s performance.
“That’s the best all-around game we played all year,” said Slate. “Our pitching was outstanding along with our defense but we just couldn’t score enough runs.”
The Blue Jays stranded 10 runners on base while the Wildcats only left five on.
St. John’s was led by Ditto with two hits and a pair of runs batted in. Warnecke, Etgen and Jackson also reached base two times.
Jefferson’s Mercer managed to get on three times and had a pair of runs batted in. Binkley, Bullinger and Rassman each had a hit for the Wildcats.
St. John’s (4)
Josh Warnecke ss 4-0-2-0, Austin Heiing cf 4-0-0-0, Jesse Ditto rf 3-1-2-2, Chad Etgen 3b 4-1-2-0, Eric Vogt 1f 4-0-1-0, Jacob Youngpeter p 3-0-1-1, Buddy Jackson c 4-0-2-1, Timothy Kreeger 1b 2-1-0-0, Jorden Boone 2b 1-1-0-0, Ryan Hellman 1-0-0-0. Totals 30-4-10-4.
Hunter Binkley ss 3-1-1-2, Ryan Bullinger cf 4-0-1-1, Gaige Rassman 1f 2-1-1-0, Jacob Pulford 1b 2-1-0-0, Nick Fitch c 2-1-0-0, Gage Mercer 3b 3-1-3-2, Brandan Herron p 1-0-0-0, Damien Dudgeon rf 1-0-0-0, Adam Rode 2b 1-0-0-0, Jordan Boop 1-1-0-0. Totals 20-6-6-5.
Score By Innings:
St. John’s 0-0-0-0-2-0-2(4)
LOB: St.John’s 10, Jefferson 5; Sac: Rode, Dudgeon.
IP H R ER SO BB
Youngpeter 5.1 4 5 5 10 4
Heiing 0.2 2 1 1 0 0
Herron (W) 3.0 2 0 0 5 0
Bullinger 3.2 8 4 4 1 4
Easton Siefker (S) 0.1 0 0 0 0 0
BB: Ditto, Kreeger, Boone, Youngpeter, Dudgeon, Binkley, Rassman, Pulford. HBP: Fitch, Boop. Balk: Youngpeter.