By Dennis Glade Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — Barr-Reeve was rusty in the field and at the plate, but Lucas Graber took care of the rest.
The Vikings (1-0) defeated Washington (0-1) Wednesday night at the Sports Complex behind a complete game shut out from Graber.
The Vikings and Hatchets entered Wednesday night’s season opener hoping to start the season with a win, but both were dealing with their own set of issues. Washington played in its first game in quite some time without Brayden Walls and Tyler Edmiston and Barr-Reeve has a few of its key players trying to get a rhythm on the diamond after finishing the basketball season less than two weeks ago.
The first two innings flew by with neither team able to put much pressure on the opposing pitcher, but in the top of the third inning, Barr-Reeve had its first chance to score against Washington sophomore Jake Bedwell. Connor Swartzentruber and Jon McMullen led off with back-to-back singles to put runners at the corners with nobody out. Barr-Reeve attempted a double steal, but after McMullen safely stole second, Swartzentruber was cut down at the plate for the first out of the inning. Bedwell struck out Trevor Yoder and got Cain Miller to groundout to end the threat.
In the top of the fourth, Bedwell retired two of the first three batters he faced, but a single from Graber put two on with two out. Bedwell walked three straight batters to bring in two runs and give the Vikings a 2-0 lead. Swartzentruber and McMullen earned an RBI apiece in the inning. Washington coach Steve Reed said the wildness out of his sophomore ace was uncharacteristic and there was a reason for that.
“He cramped up,” Reed said. “He had been sick, he had strep throat at the end of last week and that’s all that was. He cramped up there and walked two runs in.”
To lead off the bottom of the fourth, Bedwell doubled into the right center field gap, but came up lame sliding into first base after suffering more cramps. He was replaced by a pinch runner, Nick Gray, but he was picked off second on Dale Wirey’s fielder’s choice to the Graber. Zach Scheid popped out to end the fourth to keep the Hatchets with a goose egg in the box score.
“You would like to have those two runs back, but he battled his tail off,” Reed said. “He put us in position to win, we just didn’t hit.”
The reason Washington couldn’t hit was because of the mastery on the mound from Graber. He allowed two hits, walked none and struck out four in seven innings, while throwing just 76 pitches. The biggest problem that Graber faced all game was the four errors committed by his defense.
“He’s one of those guys that doesn’t play basketball, so he’s been throwing since January,” said Barr-Reeve coach Nathan Lester. “He was my first arm to go to because he’s ready. Knowing that his pitch count was low was nice to see, I think at the end of the fourth he had thrown 33 pitches. He had a great outing, he kept the ball down for the most part. He elevated a couple of 0-2 pitches, which drives me nuts, but sometimes that happens this early in the year. We looked like a team that just came out of the gym, but that’s the way it goes. This weather has been pretty hectic, we’ll figure it out as we go.”
B-R 000 200 0 — 2 7 4
WHS 000 000 0 — 0 2 0
2B: Bedwell (W)