Hank Vandaveer tossed a complete game and Pacific advanced to the championship game of the Four Rivers Baseball Classic with a 4-2 semifinal win over St. Clair Saturday at St. Clair High School.
Vandaveer, a junior southpaw, allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits with two walks and one strikeout in seven innings of work.
“Hank was a lot more focused on throwing strikes and had a much better outing than his first time out against New Haven,” said Pacific Head Coach Jeff Reed. “He wanted to finish the game and he did a good job throwing strikes.”
Blake Dierking also tossed a complete game for St. Clair. In seven innings, he allowed four runs, one earned, on seven hits with four walks, one hit batter and three strikeouts.
“A couple of defensive mistakes really cost us. Overall, our defense played well behind Dierking, who pitched excellent,” said St. Clair Head Coach Rob Hauck. “We needed our pitching to step up and throw a great game, which Dierking was able to do for us.”
Pacific (3-1) scored two runs in the top of the first inning and single runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
St. Clair (1-5) scored single runs in the bottom of the second and sixth innings.
The Bulldogs had the bases loaded in the seventh inning, but couldn’t score.
Allen Fitzgerald led Pacific’s offense by going 3-3 at the plate with one RBI.
“We moved Fitzgerald out of the No. 4 hole and down in the lineup so he could see more fastballs,” Reed said. “He had a good game at the plate.”
James Howie was 2-4 with two doubles and a run.
Jake Null collected one hit (triple), one walk and one run.
Brandon Colter and Hunter Finney both added one hit.
Tanner Brown walked twice and scored a run.
Lucas Zurliene scored one run. Vandaveer drew a walk.
“Our defense and pitching has been good in our first four games. Offensively, we need to step it up a little. We’ve struck out way too many times, especially in the Borgia game (a 3-2 loss in the championship game). “Overall, we’re happy with the way the season has started. We have only three seniors. The younger kids have stepped up and have done a good job.”
Ben Feddersen was 2-3 at the plate for St Clair with one RBI.
Brenden Murphy, Ayden Carey and Jake Oermann each added one hit. Carey scored a run.
Dierking added one RBI.
“We put ourselves in a spot to be able to take this game from them, but were not able to take advantage of good situations when we had them,” Hauck said. “Offensively, we struggled a little more than we were expecting, but we were able to put ourselves in a position to win the game late. We had bases loaded with a senior up, but we were just not able to drive in the runs we needed.”