Rochester falls to Wabash, falls 2 games back in TRC
Young has 2 hits, but Good bemoans impatient ABs late
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
The Rochester baseball team struck out only three times against visiting Wabash at Bob Copeland Field Monday.
They did not strike out at all in the final three innings.
But good hitting is more than not striking out, and according to coach Cory Good, some untimely at-bats and a three-run sixth inning from the Apaches led to a 5-3 Wabash win that extended their Three Rivers Conference lead to two full games over the Zebras with three conference games left.
Wabash improved to 14-4 overall and 6-0 in the TRC. Rochester dropped to 11-4, 4-2.
The teams will meet again in a Class 2A, Sectional 37 quarterfinal at Wabash. Sectionals begin statewide on May 25.
Gavin Young went 2 for 2 with a run scored, and Tarick McGlothin, Tanner Reinartz, Luke Hunting, Aaron Huffman and Ethan Medina had one hit each.
Andrew Dillon pitched the final 2 ⅓ innings of scoreless innings for the win. He also had two hits and two runs scored at the plate, including the game-tying RBI single off Aaron Huffman in the sixth that ended Huffman’s day on the mound.
Medina relieved and allowed Jason Tait’s go-ahead RBI squeeze bunt to make it 4-3. Chayden Beeks doubled to deep center to score Dillon and give Wabash an insurance run.
Dillon relieved Beeks, who pitched the first 4 ⅔ innings. He retired Jake Seuferer on a fly to center with two men on and Wabash trailing 3-2 to get out of the fifth.
In the sixth, now pitching with a two-run lead, Dillon allowed singles to Hunting and Young but got Colton Ferverda to ground to Trevor Daughtry at third, who stepped on the bag for an inning-ending forceout.
He then pitched a 1-2-3 seventh to close it out.
“Bad plate discipline,” Good said. “You know, we saw nine pitches in the sixth inning and eight pitches in the seventh inning. And when our backs are against the wall and we need our best ABs of the day, we’re pressing and swinging and rolling over stuff, ground balls to the second baseman. We’re just getting ourselves out. We’re not being aggressive when pitchers make a mistake that’s our pitch. We’re just so satisfied to go up there and swing at the first pitch we see or the first strike we see. And we’re not making good contact with it.”
Dillon led off the game with a walk. He went to second on Tait’s single. Beeks grounded into a forceout at second base, but when the throw to try and get him at first was wild for an error, Dillon scored.
Huffman then blamed Wabash over the next three innings, and Rochester tied the game in the fourth on Medina’s pinch-hit RBI single that scored Reinartz, who had doubled.
Wabash scored in the fifth, all after the first two batters were retired. Jared Brooks’ single took a bizarre hop over Brayden Zink’s head and brought home Keaton Fields, who had been hit by a pitch and stole second.
The Zebras scored twice and took their first lead in the bottom of the fifth. Huffman’s double and back-to-back hit-by-pitches to Young and Ferverda loaded the bases.
McGlothin lined to short, but the throw to try to double up Ferverda at first was wild for an error, and courtesy runner Drew Bowers came into score. Zink’s sacrifice fly to deep right delivered Young and gave Rochester a 3-2 lead.
But Colton Learned, who came in hitting .214 and with no extra-base hits on the season, doubled for the second time in the game to start the sixth against Huffman.
“We got ourselves down in counts, and they were in hitters’ counts, and they took advantage of it,” Good said. “Something we haven’t done a good job of is being patient at the plate and having good plate discipline. But that’s something they did well today. They worked counts, they got in their favorable counts in the fifth and the sixth.
“They’re just an aggressive team. They’re going to put the bat on the ball. They’re tough and gritty, and that’s what won today.”
Medina did not start the game but came in to pinch-hit for Evan Elliott in the bottom of the fourth and deliver an RBI single. Good said Medina “tweaked” his ankle five minutes prior to game time and was receiving treatment during the first three innings. Hunter Campbell started in right field but was flexed out of the lineup. Elliott started in center. Huffman, who was originally supposed to be flexed, batted seventh in the lineup.
Wabash 5, Rochester 3
Wabash 100 013 0 – 5 9 1
Rochester 000 120 0 – 3 7 1
WP – Andrew Dillon (2 ⅓ IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K)
LP – Aaron Huffman (5 ⅓ IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)
2B – Colton Learned 2 (WAB), Chayden Beeks (WAB), Aaron Huffman (RHS), Tanner Reinartz (RHS)