It was a beeeeeaaaaauuuuutiful opening day for West Baseball on Saturday, sunny skies and a high of 60°! How many opening days have been this nice? Not many.
Spirits were high, and the fan turn out may have been a record. I counted at least 1000* fans between the two teams.
*=these numbers can not be verified.
The first inning, pitcher Gabe Hill made quick work of the Vikings, retiring 3 of the first 4 batters. West followed in the bottom of the first with a lead of single to the left center gap by second baseman Austin Cotharn, who promptly stole second. He was moved to 3rd on a groundout to the second baseman by left fielder Tommy Hill. Catcher Drake Baldwin walked, as did Donovan O’Flahrity, the first baseman. A ground out by Centerfielder Eli Sorensen preceded a strikeout by Designated Hitter Otto Treichel to end the inning.
In the top of the 2nd, Gabe Hill struck out 2 of the 3 batters with a curveball that was nibbling the black all day. The other out was recorded in a way I do not recall. Hey, I am an amateur website guy and impromptu announcer and I had a lot on my plate on this glorious day. You expect me to pay attention to EVERYTHING?
In the bottom of the 2nd, West went quietly.
The top of the 3rd went like this: Strikeout by Gabe, groundout 2-4 with a tremendous scoop by Austin Cotharn covering first, and then a 6-3 groundout with the SS Nate Millman throwing a rocket to Dono O’ at first.
In the bottom of the 3rd, Austin Cotharn had a carbon copy of his first single to the left center gap AND another ditto stolen base to boot. Speaking of boots, Tommy Hill followed with a rocket off the Stoughton third baseman’s foot, and Drake Baldwin followed with a fielders choice RBI. Donovan O’Flahrity singled over a leaping Stoughton Shortstop which scored another run. Eli Sorenson followed with a fielders choice that did not result in an out, and Otto Treichel dribbled an infield hit past the pitcher who tried to flip the ball to the first baseman but was unsuccessful and Dono O’ scored. The right fielder Jens Shager followed with an RBI 6-3 groundout that scored Eli. David Grunder the third baseman followed with a single to right center that scored Otto. The shortstop, Nate Millman walked, as did Austin. Tommy Hill was next and hit a deep infield single to short to score David. West finished with 6 runs on 5 hits, 2 Stoughton errors and left 3 runners on base.
The 4th inning was Stoughton’s biggest. A double by Schipper was followed by a double by Nowicki, and a single by Waldorf. Wanninger from Stoughton followed with a fieldes choice that scored a run, but Gabe Hill struck out the next guy looking to retire the side.
Bottom of the 4th: Otto nailed a double with an effortless swing that surprised the right fielder who was drifting and then had to jump on his horse to track down the shot. Pinch runner Quinn Burgess came in, advanced to 3rd on a passed ball, then advanced to home on a wild pitch. Speed kills baby, speed kills.
The fifth inning saw Colin Pulkrabek come in to pitch. The first batter singled, and the second batter Noah Schaefer smashed a 5 foot single. While on second, the Stoughton runner thought that stealing third would be a good idea, but Drake quickly showed him that he should have thought about this a bit longer as he nailed the runner on a caught stealing 2-5. Their 3 batter Schipper then flew out to Nate at short, and their cleanup batter Nowicki followed with a ground out to Austin. No runs scored.
In the bottom of the 5th, David Grunder walked, and then was caught stealing on a 2-3-6-3-4-3-6 run down. Nate flew out to right, and Austin grounded to first. No runs.
The top of the 6th, Stoughton scored one after a walk, a single and a double. On this double however, Tommy Hill tracked down a deep fly to left center that hit the middle of the wall, threw a strike to Nate Millmann the cutoff, who turned and fired a strike to Drake at the plate to nail the Stoughton runner. We all marveled at the baseball fundamentals that we witnessed. It was lovely. Colin Pulkrabek became a bulldog and struck out the next two batters swinging, and then looking respectively. One run scored.
In the bottom of the 6th, West batted around again, with the highlights being a leadoff double to deep right center by Tommy Hill, who advanced to 3rd on a passed ball, and was driven in by Donovan O’Flahrity who rocketed another ball between the wickets of the Stoughton 3rd baseman. Eli had a single, stole a base, and Dono O’ scored on a WP (Wild Pitch). Eli had moved to 3rd and scored on another WP moments later.
Otto walked, and went to 2B on the WP, and Donovan Parker was HBP. David G walked, Nate hit into a fielders choice. Austin was hit by a pitch as well, getting an RBI the hard way. Or at least the painful way….
Tommy followed with a hot shot up the middle that the pitcher snagged and threw to first. 4 more runs by West.
In the top of the 7th, Shore walked, the 3 hitter Schipper singled, followed by an RBI ground out by Nowicki. Waldorf struck out looking, and Wanninger struck out swinging.
Game Over. West Regents 11, Stoughton Vikings 4.
Next game, Monday vs. the Mc Farland Spartans,