A couple of bloops and a few blasts combined with solid pitching and defense added up to a convincing baseball victory for Washington over Pacific.
The Blue Jays (5-3) collected 14 hits in a 13-2 win over the Indians in five innings Monday at Ronsick Field.
“I couldn’t tell you the last time we beat Pacific. We’ve probably lost to them five or six times in a row, so it’s nice to finally get one against them,” said Washington Head Coach Scott Bray. “It was just a matter of our guys getting some confidence at the plate. We were fortunate to get a couple of bloop hits early in the game. I thought we wore down their pitcher a little and were able to get some hard-hit balls, which led to runs.”
Pacific (5-3) trailed from the second inning through the remainder of the game, and couldn’t get anything going at the plate or in the field.
“From the start of the game until the end, not much went right for us,” said Pacific Head Coach Jeff Reed. “There were some plays that we didn’t make in the field, which turned out to be a huge difference.”
Luke Hasenjaeger pitched all five innings for Washington. He allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
“It all starts with ‘Hasy’ on the mound. He got in a little trouble late in the game, but gutted it out,” Bray said. “The kid works his tail off, no matter what sport he’s playing.”
Hasenjaeger felt confident going into the game.
“I felt good out there. I really wanted to have a good game. I’ve never beaten Pacific in baseball on the varsity level, so it’s a big win for me and the rest of the seniors,” Hasenjaeger said. “Our bats really came alive. It was awesome to see everyone hit the way we did. Our defense was great, especially Sam (Katzung) behind the plate.”
Hank Vandaveer got the start on the mound for Pacific, despite dealing with an injury. In three innings of work, he allowed eight runs, two earned, on nine hits with one walk and two strikeouts.
“Hank dislocated his pinky finger on his pitching hand playing pickup basketball last Friday,” Reed said. “He wasn’t at his best, but he competed. He gave us a chance to win. Our defense didn’t give him enough help.”
Ryan Howell pitched one inning in relief, allowing five runs.
Washington jumped to an 8-0 lead with one run in the bottom of the first inning, four in the second and three in the third.
After Pacific made the score 8-1 in the top of the fourth inning, the Blue Jays put the game away with five runs in the bottom of the fourth.
The Indians scored a run in the top of the fifth inning.
Batting in the leadoff spot, Pete Coulter was 4-4 at the plate with three RBIs and a run scored for Washington.
“Our leadoff spot has been a question mark for us. We’re set with our three, four and five hitters,” Bray said. “Pete stepped in and did a nice job. He usually makes good contact.”
Dilan Bollmann was 2-3 with three RBIs.
Jared Walde was 2-3 with two RBIs and two runs.
Sam Katzung was 2-2 with a walk.
Todd Hellmann finished with one hit, two runs and one RBI. Mike Reinhold added one hit and two runs. Brock Hopkins had one hit and one run. Hasenjaeger had one hit.
Scott Byrne scored three runs. Phillip Straatmann walked and scored.
“I don’t think we’ve played a bad game, but we haven’t played our very best, either. There are things to improve on,” Bray said. “We got some breaks and were able to put them away. Jeff has a good team. They’re going to have a good season.”
Tanner Brown, Jake Null, Tyler Straatmann and Vandaveer each had one hit for Pacific.
Hunter Finney added one RBI. Lucas Zurliene and Vandaveer both scored a run.
“Our approach at the plate was horrible. We were out on our front foot and lifted everything up,” Reed said. “Hopefully this game was a wake-up call. If not, we’re going to have more just like it.”
Washington vs. Winfield
Washington posted a 10-0 win in six innings over Winfield last Friday at Ronsick Field.
Leading 3-0, the Blue Jays ended the game with seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Zach Pointer tossed a one-hit shutout for Washington. In six innings, he allowed one walk and registered nine strikeouts.
“Our bats came to life toward the middle of the game and Zach had a very good performance on the mound,” Bray said. “He showed good command of all pitches. He went out there with something to prove and stayed focused for the entire game.”
Hopkins was 3-3 at the plate with a walk, two RBIs and a run. Hellmann was 3-4 with two RBIs and a run. Hasenjaeger was 2-3 with a walk and two runs.
Andrew Sumner, Bollmann, Katzung, Straatmann and Pointer each added one hit. Katzung also walked. Straatmann had two RBIs. Reinhold walked twice.