By Dennis Glade Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald
---- — LOOGOOTEE — The Loogootee baseball team had its chance to get back to .500 and pick up its fifth win of the season, but instead the visiting Washington Hatchets flipped the script to get their first win of the season.
The Hatchets (1-4) scored four runs in the eighth inning to beat Loogootee (4-6) 6-4 Wednesday evening at Les Page Field.
Washington held the Loogootee offense at bay for seven innings, which included a bases loaded situation in the bottom of the seventh. To start the top of the eighth inning, Jake Bedwell, the game’s starting pitcher, led off with a double to the left field wall. After Zach Sheid was hit by a pitch and a flyout out to deep center field by Eric Long, the Hatchets had runners at second and third with just one out. Dale Wirey put Washington ahead with an RBI single and Scheid scored during the next at-bat on a wild pitch by Resler to put the lead at 4-2.
Washington tacked on two more runs on throwing error’s from Casey Miller and catcher Hayden Bell to inflate the lead to 6-2. Loogootee added two runs in the bottom of the eighth, but freshmen Austin Moody was able to get the final outs for his first career victory. After close losses to Edgewood and Barr-Reeve, Washington was able to put on in the win column and the Lions suffered their second loss in a row.
After playing to a 2-2 tie through six innings, Washington had a golden opportunity in the top of the seventh to seal its first victory. With one out and runners at the corners, Washington coach Steve Reed decided to call in some trickery on a squeeze play, but the Lions were fooled and Dalton DeVine was tagged out in a rundown between third and home. It was the second out of the inning and Loogootee pitcher Trevor Resler would walk the next batter, but then got Colten Garland to flyout and end the threat.
“We had the squeeze play on,” Reed said. “I wanted to put it on the first pitch, the pitch was a little low and it was called strike one. It was something down in the zone and it bounced. We had the squeeze on and it just didn’t work out.”
In the bottom of the inning, Moody relieved Bedwell, who had pitched all six innings up to that point. The sophomore pitcher allowed three hits, two runs and walked six, while striking out three. For whatever the reason, Moody couldn’t find the strike zone. Moody walked three of the first four batters he faced to bring Ben Blackwell up with one out. Blackwell lifted a fly ball to left fielder Nick Gray and Bell broke for home after tagging up. Gray’s throw was a little high, but good enough for Scheid to place the tag after Bell slid past the plate to send the game to extra innings.
“In that situation, it’s do-or-die,” Reed said. “There is no hitting the cut right there, it’s throw through the guy. He came up and luckily it wasn’t too deep. Nick doesn’t have a great arm, but he had just enough on it. It was a big play.”
Neither offense was able to get anything going through the first three innings, thanks to the sharp pitching from Miller and Bedwell. To start the top of the fourth, Garland reached on a bunt single for Washington’s first hit of the game. Garland advanced to second on a groundout by Bedwell on a passed ball against Bell. Scheid struck out and cleanup hitter Eric Long was hit by a pitch to put runners at the corners.
With a 1-2 count on Wirey, Long took off on a delayed steal for second and Miller tried to throw him out at second, but the ball ended up in the outfield, which allowed Garland to score.
“We have a way that we want to execute against,” said Loogootee coach Luke Woolems. “We went over it a few times in March and haven’t seen it since. It’s just one of those things, they put pressure on you and force you to make mistakes and that’s what happened in that situation.”
In the bottom of the fourth, Loogootee scored two runs on an RBI single from Branden Wilz and a bases loaded walk to Gage Harder. Bedwell walked three Lions’ batters in the inning, but was able to get Jake Blackwell to flyout to center with the bases loaded to end the inning.
In the fifth inning, Washington once again had runners at the corners and once again Reed sent the runner at first. This time Miller broke off the mound and caught the runner at third, DeVine, in a rundown, but another errant throw allowed him to score and tie the game at two.
“We are struggling to hit the ball and sometimes you have to look at where are in the order,” Reed said. “I’ve had teams in the past where I wouldn’t think about doing that, but this year it’s something we might have to go to. Not only that, but it gives you momentum.”
Washington 6, Loogootee 4
Washington (1-4) 000 110 04 — 6 5 0
Loogootee (4-6) 000 200 02 — 4 6 4
Bedwell, Moody(7) and Scheid; Miller, Resler(7) and Bell.
2B- Bedwell (WHS)