The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Tuesday August 22nd, the West Central 7th and 8th grade baseball team traveled to Warsaw and defeated the Warsaw Bobcats 8-7.
West Central didn't get the big hits but relied more on patience at the plate. The game got off to a great start for the red and blue as WC recorded half their hits and half of their runs in the top of the first inning.
For the day's total, West Central scored eight runs on only four hits but drew nine walks for the afternoon.
Singles were recorded by Kyle Mesecher, and Sam Hilten and Ethan Pullen went 2 for 4 with two doubles. RBI honors went to Pullen and Hilten on hits. Brent and Lafary (2) drew a pair of bases loaded walks.
After putting up four runs in the first inning, the West Central offense was silenced until the fourth inning when Ryan Bigger laid down a surprise bunt on two outs that allowed Lafary to score on an throwing error.
Johnny Ryffel entered as a pinch runner for Bigger and made it to third before being stranded on base at the end of the inning with the score 5 to 2.
West Central tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth to expand their lead but only stayed on top for half an inning before Warsaw used the fifth frame as their big inning to tie the ball game 7 to 7.
Trey Goff entered the game on offense and second baseman Jared Clark entered on defense.
Highlights on the defensive side of things included starting pitcher Sam Hilten who tossed three strong innings with three K's and allowed three hits, two walks and two unearned runs.
Hilten completed his last inning when second baseman Brock Heap easily handled a third out ground ball to strand the runner at second base and keep the Heat out in front 4 to 2.
Hilten moved back into familiar territory and swapped places with starting catcher Blake Durflinger who took the mound and his team through the fourth inning and a third of the fifth inning before leaving with the score tied 7 to 7 which included 3 unearned runs.
Coach Jeremy Burrell called in right fielder / right hander Ethan Lafary to contribute in the pitching effort.
Lafary reported to the hill to throw 1 2/3 of an inning, he faced five batters, struck out two, allowed no runs to Warsaw in the sixth while giving up two hits and a base on balls.
In the top of the seventh Lafary, "having a day", drew the go-ahead-run on a bases loaded walk to score Brandon Brent boosting the score 8 to 7.
With only three outs to go and a chance for their fifth straight win, veteran pitcher Logan Stogdill was called to the mound to stop the battling Warsaw Bobcats from and offensive attack. Stogdill faced the number eight batter who flew out to Pullen in left field, the number nine batter grounded out to second baseman Jared Clark for the second out.
With only one more out to end the game, Warsaw sent the top of their batting order to the plate and gave the West Central fans a real nail biter that lasted through three more batters. A base on balls put the tying run on base, followed by an error that allowed the winning run at first base.
Warsaw's number three batter who earlier ripped a double down the third base line stepped up to the plate to face Stogdill for the first time. The batter swung on an 0 and 1 count to lift a fly ball out to center field that was caught by Ethan Lafary to end the game in West Central's favor.
First time pitcher Ethan Lafary also claimed the win for West Central in 1 2/3 inning of work. Final score 8-7. West Central returned to their home field on Thursday August 24 and met West Prairie for the second time to come out ahead in a 15 run rule decision 17 -2 increasing their win record to 6-0 for the season.
The 6th grade team also won 7-5 against West Prairie's B Team. They boosted their over all record to 3-0.
West Central vs. West Prairie article will follow next week.