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  • Val T.

Game 1: Allen, Wheeler combine on 2-hitter as Winamac edges Caston

Game 2: DuVall tosses no-hitter as Comets earn split


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC


Pete DuVall

Winamac 2, Caston 1 (Monday)

WINAMAC — Winamac baseball coach Mark Hendryx would like to see improved hitting, but the pitching was enough for the Warriors to pull out a 2-1 win over visiting Caston in the first game of a two-game series Monday.

Addison Allen allowed one run over six innings for the win. Freshman Cody Wheeler got the final three outs for the save.

Brayden Mathias added an RBI single for Winamac, who improved to 6-3 overall and 5-1 in the Hoosier North.

Talon Zeider pitched a three-hitter and allowed only one earned run for Caston, who fell to 4-8, 3-3.

Caston had only hit through six innings before Edison Byrum singled to lead off the seventh. Hendryx replaced Allen with Wheeler, who then walked Zeider.

Lance Hanna’s sacrifice bunt moved runners to second and third.

Hendryx elected to walk Gavin Mollenkopf to load the bases.

Herd flew out to Maddox Bucinski in left to drive in Byrum and make it 2-1. Zeider would advance to third on an error.

But with the potential tying and go-ahead runners on base, Wheeler retired Pete DuVall on a fly out to Conner Burton in center field to end it.

Hendryx said he was determined not to let Mollenkopf beat his team, so he chose to walk him even though he represented the go-ahead run.

“Not much,” Hendryx said when asked how much thought he put into the decision to walk Mollenkopf. “The tying run was on second, and I know he’s a good player. He struggled a little bit today, but he’s a really good hitter, and I didn’t want him to beat us. I thought if one of the others guys did, congratulations. But it’s a compliment to that kid. I’ve seen the stats. He’s hitting the ball really well. I told (Caston coach) Blake (Mollenkopf) after the game, I hate doing that, but I’m not going to let your best player beat me; I’m going to make somebody else beat me. Thank God it worked out, or I would have heard about it.”

Winamac pitchers walked five and hit three batters, but none of those eight baserunners came around to score. Allen had a no-hitter through 5 ⅔ innings before Caleb Stinson broke it up with a line single to left-center. Allen then hit Grant Yadon with a pitch before retiring Ryan Spin on a grounder to short to end the inning.

Caston also left the bases loaded in the first and third innings. In both, Allen struck out Stinson to get out of the jam.

Caston finished with 10 left on base.

“That was kind of the difference in the ballgame,” coach Mollenkopf said when asked about his team’s situational hitting. “We set the table quite a few times, sometimes less than two outs, sometimes with two outs, and we just didn’t have those big hits. Nice sac fly. We did a job with less than two outs but a little too little, too late.”

Zeider had a shutout going through three innings with no walks and five strikeouts, but Winamac scored both of their runs in the fourth.

Wyatt Wheeler walked with one out and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Mathias then ripped an RBI single to left-center to score Wyatt Wheeler, and when the ball was booted for an error in left field, Mathias advanced to second.

Zeider struck out John Malchow looking for the second out. Then Max Gearhart lofted a pop-up into very shallow left field. The third baseman, shortstop and left fielder all seemed to be in the vicinity, but the ball dropped in between them for an error. With Mathias running on contact with two outs, he scored easily to make it 2-0.

“Just pulled back,” Mollenkopf said. “Not a huge explanation why. … (We’ll) get better. (We’ll) own it and move on.”

This marked the third time that Winamac has scored three or fewer runs in a game but the first time Winamac has won such a game. Winamac’s team batting average has hovered under .240 for the season.

But Allen, Brody Wenzler and Mathias give them three solid pitchers to front their staff.

“His fastball naturally tails,” Hendryx said of Allen, a senior southpaw. “He’s had a lot of breaking stuff, but after the first two innings, he settled down, and I thought threw really well. The first two innings, I don’t think he was ready mentally. Once he figured out the strike zone was going to be down, he started getting down there, and things worked out.

“It’s been that case all year. We’ve just got to start hitting. The pitching’s been great. Addy gave up two hits. We just got to hit the ball a little better.”

Winamac 2, Caston 1

Caston 000 000 1 – 1 2 2

Winamac 000 200 X – 2 3 2

WP – Addison Allen (6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 HBP, 6 K)

LP – Talon Zeider (6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K)

S – Cody Wheeler (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K)

2B – Maddox Bucinski (WIN)

Caston 10, Winamac 0 (5 innings, Tuesday)

Pete DuVall threw a no-hitter, and Grant Yadon had two hits and two RBIs for Caston in a Hoosier North home win over Winamac Tuesday.

Lance Hanna and Caleb Stinson each singled and had two RBIs. Talon Zeider had a hit and an RBI, and Gavin Mollenkopf also drove in a run.

Winamac pitchers walked seven with Noah Herd and Elijah Holloway each walking twice.

DuVall walked one and struck out four. He threw just 55 pitches and faced just 16 batters, one more than the minimum.

Brody Wenzler took the loss for Winamac, allowing three hits and eight runs in 4 ⅔ innings. He walked five and fanned five. Brayden Mathias replaced him but retired none of the five batters he faced as Caston scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth to end the game.

Winamac committed two errors that led to six unearned runs for Caston.

Caston 10, Winamac 0 (5 innings)

Winamac 000 00 – 0 0 2

Caston 050 05 – 10 6 1

WP – Pete DuVall (5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)

LP – Brody Wenzler (4 ⅔ IP, 3 H, 8 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 5 K)

XBH – (none)


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