HUNTINGBURG — HUNTINGBURG – The Washington Hatchets may not have entered the Southridge Sectional as one of the favorites, but that’s the beauty of the postseason – regular season records mean just as much as the ceremonial first pitch.
Thanks to clutch hitting, perfect fielding, and a second straight terrific pitching performance, the Hatchets will play for a sectional championship on Monday after defeating rival Vincennes Lincoln 5-1 in Sectional 31 semifinal action on Saturday at League Stadium.
After a Jake Bedwell masterpiece powered Washington (12-16) past Mitchell on Thursday, Hatchet hurler Michael Ramsey was equally as tough against Vincennes (15-15). Ramsey fanned just two but allowed only five hits – and no hits after the third inning – while stranding 11 Alices in a complete game performance. Ramsey was backed up by a Hatchet defense that didn’t commit an error on the afternoon, while Vincennes committed three errors behind starter and loser Levi Archer.
It was a performance that had Washington coach Steve Reed smiling after the game.
“What a game, what a performance. Let’s start with Michael Ramsey. A gutty performance, seven innings strong against a good hitting Vincennes team that beat us 12-1 during the regular season,” said Reed. “It all starts with believe. I told the boys before this started ‘You’ve gotta believe. We’ve got to play the game of baseball, don’t play the shirts, don’t get wrapped up wherever we’re at … play the game.’”
“When I look up at the scoreboard and see zero errors for us in seven innings, that’s playing the game. Five runs, that’s playing the game. Timely hitting, just a great job all the way around.”
Washington started quickly, as leadoff hitter Dalton Devine walked and eventually scored on a two-out single by Bedwell in the first inning. After the Alices reached Ramsey for a run in the second, the Hatchets scored single runs in the third and fifth. Colton Garland, who finished the game with a pair of doubles in four trips, reached on an error to open the third inning and came around to score on a double by Austin Moody. It was the same combination in the fifth for WHS only this time Garland doubled with one-out and was chased home by another Moody double.