Walk show: Wabash’s patience leads to back-to-back 5-run innings, sectional win over Rochester
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
WABASH — The Rochester baseball team’s pitchers could not keep the ball down. And because of that, Wabash held them down in a Class 2A, Sectional 37 quarterfinal at Wabash’s Chris Rood Field Wednesday.
Colton Learned had a pair of two-run singles, and Andrew Dillon had two hits and three RBIs to lead the Apaches to a 10-3 win over the Zebras in a Class 2A, Sectional 37 quarterfinal at Wabash’s Chris Rood Field Wednesday.
Wabash, the Three Rivers Conference champion, improved to 19-9. Rochester finished 15-6, including two losses to Wabash.
Evan Elliott, who had three hits and five RBIs in a 2021 sectional win over Wabash, went 2 for 2 in his final prep game for the Zebras. Tarick McGlothin had a two-run double to turn a nine-run deficit into a seven-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh. Jake Seuferer had an RBI single in the fourth. Tanner Reinartz, Brayden Zink and Gavin Young also had hits for Rochester.
Rochester used four pitchers – McGlothin, Ethan Medina, Aaron Huffman and Tanner Reinartz – and they combined to walk nine. All but Reinartz walked at least one.
And of the nine walks, seven came in the second and third innings. And of those seven, six came around to score. Many of the pitches that were out of the zone were too high.
“We felt we had a really good game plan rolling into this thing,” Rochester coach Cory Good said. “We were very confident. I don’t know. We struggled throwing up. We missed up a lot early. … It’s baseball. It’s the things that we talk about. You walk the leadoff batter, he’s probably going to score. You walk nine, you’re probably not going to win many games. I don’t know what the issue was there early, but obviously a huge factor in determining the outcome of this game.”
Chayden Beeks held Rochester hitless over the first three innings before allowing four consecutive singles to start the fourth. But Evan Elliott rounded second base too far after Brayden Zink’s hit and was thrown out trying to return.
Seuferer’s hit scored Reinartz and got Rochester out of 10-run rule territory – they have not lost by 10-run rule since a 10-0 loss in six innings to Warsaw on May 8, 2021 – but Luke Hunting grounded into a 5-3-2 double play to end the inning with Zink being thrown out at the plate.
McGlothin had not allowed an earned run in 11 innings of mound work coming into the game, and he escaped a jam by striking out Keaton Fields with two men on in the top of the first.
But in the second, he walked three of the first four batters he faced, including back-to-back walks to Ashton Smith and Jason Tait, Wabash’s No. 8 and No. 9 betters, to load the bases.
During that time, he also threw a wild pitch that scored Jared Brooks.
Medina was brought in from center field to replace McGlothin. The southpaw’s first task was the left-hand hitting Dillon, but he poked a two-run single to right to score Smith and Tait and make it 3-0.
Trevor Daughtry singled, and Beeks grounded into a forceout to put runners on first and third. Antonio Grant came in as a courtesy runner for Beeks and stole second.
Learned then singled to score Dillon and Grant to make it 5-0.
The top of the third began the same way the top of the second did – with a leadoff walk to Brooks. Justin Booth singled, and one out later, Tait walked to load the bases.
Medina fell behind Dillon 2-0 in the count, and Good replaced Dillon with Aaron Huffman. Huffman eventually walked Dillon to make it 6-0. Daughtry delivered an RBI single to make it 7-0. Beeks drove in a run by grounding into a forceout to make it 8-0.
Grant, again in the game as a courtesy runner for Beeks, again stole second.
Learned then lined a single to bring home Dillon and Grant and make it 10-0.
Good said he talked to his team about Wabash’s offensive approach after the game. Even with two strikes in the count, the Apaches stay formidable.
“That was the conversation we just had with these guys,” Good said. “They do a great job at the plate. I think they hit two balls really hard today, a line drive that got past the gap and one that Tarick caught. But other than that, they just dink and dunk, and it doesn’t have to look real pretty, but who cares? We’ll put 10 on anybody. They play together so well. They compete. They battle. They pick each other up. They do what good teams need to do to win games like this.”
Good has been the coach since 2015. He was asked how Rochester baseball culture has changed during his coaching tenure. He said he would like to see his players handle adversity better.
He said it’s easy to be a good teammate and a good person when you’re winning, but the toughest challenge is how a player reacts when they are not winning.
“I just feel like we are a little bit more competitive,” Good said. “We’ve got a little bit more grit at times. Just compete and be aggressive. I’m pretty where the culture is at, besides the how-do-we-get-better-when-we-face-adversity. That’s really what I’ll be focusing on this offseason.
“The talent’s there. I told these guys I’ll argue all day that we have the most talent of any team out here. But talent doesn’t always win. It sure didn’t today.”
Wabash 10, Rochester 3
Wabash 055 000 0 – 10 9 0
Rochester 000 100 2 – 3 7 1
WP – Chayden Beeks (5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 3 K)
LP – Tarick McGlothin (1 ⅓ IP, 0 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K)
2B – Tarick McGlothin (RHS)
Watch Full Game Here: