|Jays miss chances early, fall in Regional semifinal|
|Thursday, May 30, 2013 11:46 PM|
By JIM METCALFE
HAMLER — Missed opportunities.
In whatever sport one is talking about, missed opportunities have a strong tendency to come back and bite you in the end.
That was what happened to St. John’s on a warm, sunny and windy Thursday afternoon in its Division IV baseball semifinal at Patrick Henry’s Garrold Parratt Field.
The Blue Jays left the bases loaded in both the first and second innings, with a chance to potentially blow the game wide open against Northwood, and the Rangers rallied behind two solo blasts by Justin Rohrs to grab a 4-3 victory.
The Rangers (18-10) advance to take on the winner of the second game between McComb and Tinora at a time to be determined today.
The Jays (13-15) got it rolling with a 2-spot in the top of the first against Ranger ace and complete-game winner (128 pitches, 78 for strikes) Nick Russell. With one down, senior Ryan Buescher (2-for-3, 1 run) singled off second baseman Jack Romstadt’s glove for a single and classmate Troy Warnecke was walked. An out later, senior Clay Courtney was hit by a pitch to load the bases and with junior T.J. Hoersten up to bat, Russell uncorked a wild pitch that scored Buescher and moved runners up. An out hence, Hoersten got aboard via a throwing error, plating Warnecke for a 2-0 lead. Senior Drew Wagner was hit by a pitch to reload the sacks but the Jays left them that way.
Northwood got a run back in the home half against St. John’s senior starter Curtis Geise (7-2; 101 pitches, 59 for strikes) on a leadoff walk to Evan Perkins, a bunt single through the infield (Josh Segura) that put runners on the corners and a wild pitch that got Perkins across home plate.
The Jays again loaded the sacks in the second: a 1-out infield hit to deep short by Geise, a hit batter (Buescher), an infield hit to deep short by Warnecke, with Geise getting tagged at home trying to score and putting runners on the corners and then another hit batter (senior Andrew Metzger). However, a strikeout of the next batter ended the threat. That seemed to help Russell settle down after that.
“We got runners on all day. We just couldn’t come through with the big hit enough to get more of them home; what we hit too often didn’t drop,” first-year St. John’s coach Ryan Warnecke explained. “That was big not to get more runs in the first two innings but we still had confidence. Curtis didn’t get a chance to warm up on the mound during pre-game and he never looked comfortable; he didn’t have his best stuff. We knew they could hit the ball but those two home runs, without the wind, likely would have been fly-ball outs.”
Northwood stranded Jacob Davenport on second in the second frame.
The Jays got a 2-out infield chopper up the gut by Buescher in the fourth.
Rohrs then went yard for the first time in the bottom of the fourth, getting the ball up into the wind blowing toward right field and clearing the fence at the 310-foot area for a 2-2 tie. Brandon Hoffman was left stranded on second base.
Hoersten walked with two outs in the St. John’s fifth and advanced on a wild pitch but went no farther.
Segura was walked with two down in the Ranger fifth.
Geise got aboard on an error with one down in the top of the sixth and moved up on a wild pitch but could get no farther.
Rohrs commenced the Northwood sixth by doing the same thing he had done two frames earlier, just clearing the fence around the 320-foot mark to take the lead for good for his crew. Myles Habel; singled, advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Davenport (an error on the play allowed both runners to be safe). A hit batter (Hoffman) and a 1-out hit batter (Jordan Schell plated Habel.
The Jays made it interesting in the seventh. With one down, Metzger beat out an infield nibbler that hugged the third-base line but was forced at second by Courtney. He advanced on a Hoersten booted grounder and scored as Wagner lined a single into right, putting runners on the corners. However, Russell got the final batter looking to end the Blue Jays’ spring season.
“We ended up in the Regionals; that’s a credit to the kids,” Coach Warnecke added. “We could have packed it in at any time because we struggled, especially early, but the kids battled all season and slowly turned it around.”
The Jays also bid “adios” to seniors Andrew Grothouse, Craig Klausing, Aaron Beck and Dylan Stump.
ST. JOHN’S (3)
Curtis Geise p 4-0-1-0, Ryan Buescher c 3-1-2-0, Troy Warnecke ss 3-1-1-0, Andrew Metzger cf 3-0-1-0, Clay Courtney rf 3-1-0-0, T.J. Hoersten 2b 3-0-0-0, Drew Wagner 1b 3-0-1-1, Craig Klausing 3b 4-0-0-0, Ben Wrasman lf 3-0-0-0. Totals 29-3-6-1.
Evan Perkins cf 3-1-0-0, John Segura 1b 3-0-1-0, Steven Gutekunst pr 0-0-0-0, Nick Russell p 3-0-0-0, Justin Rohrs 3b 3-2-2-2, Myles Habel c 3-1-1-0, Jacob Davenport ss 1-0-0-0, Brandon Hoffman lf 1-0-0-0, Jack Romstadt 2b 3-0-0-0, Jordan Schell rf 2-0-0-1. Totals 22-4-4-3.
Score by Innings:
St. John’s 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 - 3
Northwood 1 0 0 1 0 2 x - 4
E: Rohrs 2, Klausing, Romstadt; LOB: St. John’s 11, Northwood 7; HR: Rohrs 2; Sac: Davenport.
IP H R ER BB SO
Geise (L, 7-2) 6.0 4 4 3 4 6
Russell (W) 7.0 6 3 1 2 9
WP: Russell 4, Geise; PB: Buescher; HBP: Buescher (by Russell), Metzger (by Russell), Courtney (by Russell), Wagner (by Russell), Hoffman (by Geise), Schell (by Geise).
|Last Updated on Thursday, May 30, 2013 11:59 PM|