Washington broke open a close game in the final three innings to defeat St. Clair Tuesday at Dutzow Ballpark.
With the game tied 5-5 after four innings, the Blue Jays outscored the Bulldogs 9-1 over the final three frames for a 14-6 victory.
Wet field conditions moved the game from St. Clair to Dutzow. The Bulldogs were the home team on the scoreboard.
“The first four innings were really competitive, good baseball,” said St. Clair Head Coach Rob Hauck. “Our boys did a great job coming back from the 3-0 deficit in the first inning. In the first few innings, we responded every time they scored and we kept bouncing back.”
Washington (10-12, 3-4) collected nine hits and 11 walks in the contest.
“We got some timely hits and took advantage of some walks given to us,” said Washington Head Coach Scott Bray. “It all started with defense. Ryan Barnoski made another great play at third followed up by a nice backhand by Dilan Bollmann at second after scoring three in the first inning to take the lead. It’s the second game we’ve played at Dutzow this year and we have zero errors out there.”
St. Clair (8-13, 3-4) finished with eight hits and four walks.
“Our problem turned into giving too many free bases because of walks or errors,” Hauck said. “As a team, we have to do a better job of making them get hits and earn their runs.”
Jared Walde got the start on the mound for Washington. In three innings, he allowed three runs on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Brock Hopkins worked one-third of an inning, allowing two runs, two hits and one walk.
Justin Schuler pitched 2.2 frames to earn the win. He allowed one run on three hits with one walk.
Andrew Sumner tossed a perfect seventh inning.
Travis Sanders was St. Clair’s starting pitcher. In four plus innings, he allowed six runs on five hits with four walks and eight strikeouts.
Jake Oermann worked the next two plus frames. He allowed seven runs on three hits with five walks, one hit batter and one strikeout.
Greg Marler pitched one inning. He allowed one run on one hit with two walks and one strikeout.
Dustin Howard paced the Blue Jays at the plate with three hits (one double) and five RBIs.
Derek Walters added two hits and two RBIs.
Mike McGilvray collected one hit (double), two walks and one RBI.
Pete Coulter registered one hit, one walk, one hit batsman and one RBI.
Dilan Bollmann and Schuler both finished with one hit and one walk.
Luke Hasenjaeger walked three times. Ryan Barnoski, Mike Reinhold and Sumner each drew a walk.
Phil Straatmann had an RBI on a squeeze bunt.
The highlight for St. Clair was Blake Dierking, who belted the Bulldogs’ first home run of the season. He finished with three hits (single, double and home run) and three RBIs.
Ayden Carey (double), Ben Feddersen and Marler each had one hit and one walk.
Jesse Sheldon added one hit and two RBIs. Jake Calkins had one hit and one RBI. Brenden Murphy drew a walk.
St. Clair-New Haven
St. Clair won Wednesday at New Haven, 9-2.
“I challenged the kids before the game to step up our intensity and bring more energy,” Hauck said. “After our last few games, we had gotten down on ourselves and we needed to pick ourselves up going into districts. Our whole team got into the game and did whatever they could to help us get the win.”
Murphy tossed the first five innings for the win. He allowed no runs on three hits with five walks and two strikeouts.
Oermann worked the final two frames. He allowed two runs on three hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Calkins finished with two hits (one double) and four RBIs.
Murphy added two hits (one double), one walk, two RBIs and two runs.
“I had a few kids out of position and a couple new players to the varsity level and they did an awesome job,” Hauck said. “Our first-time starters played their hearts out. Our team has a lot of momentum going into districts. I’m excited to see what we can do.”
Washington lost Wednesday to Ft. Zumwalt South at Ronsick Field, 7-2.
McGilvray pitched the first three innings for the Blue Jays.
Working in relief were Mike Jones for 1.1 innings, Coulter for 1.2 frames and Howard for one inning.
“They ran a squeeze play and when our player reached to tag him, he ran out of the baseline, but was called safe,” Bray said. “The very next play they ran another squeeze play down the third-base line that could have possibly been caught. Barnoski let it go between his legs and the spin on the ball made it go foul. It was ruled that it hit him and everyone was safe. It was just a case of not getting a break and then not hitting very well.”