Wheatmore outlasts Andrews, 18-10
Each time the T.W. Andrews baseball team got something going offensively, Wheatmore buckled down and responded even stronger.
The Warriors scored 18 runs on 13 hits to defeat the Red Raiders 18-10 on Tuesday night in a PAC-6 2A matchup. Gareth McKee went 3 for 4 from the plate with a pair of walks and two RBIs, and Devon Holbrook knocked in four RBIs to lead the way for Wheatmore.
The Warriors scored six in the second and seven in the seventh, batting around in both innings as Andrews struggled to make an out.
“We were just looking to stay aggressive, look for the offspeed and sit back, and stay ahead in the count,” McKee said. “Obviously it was a rusty game on both sides.”
Andrews starting pitcher Jordan Rogers, a freshman, took the loss, as his defense struggled behind him committing six errors. But Andrews’ bats came alive with 10 runs on 10 hits. Nick Chadmon went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored for Andrews.
“For the past three years, we hadn’t been able to hang with this team,” Andrews coach Randy Norris said. “Tonight, it’s a moral victory for us to be able to hang with them. They are an exceptional program. If we cut down on our mental mistakes and our errors, I think we can be a good team.”
Andrews knocked out starting pitcher Jason Ozment in the second inning after Ozment walked the bases loaded and Chadmon delivered a two-RBI double. Bailey Willis followed by knocking a pitch to the opposite field for a two-out single that scored two.
Ozment, despite his struggles in just one-plus innings, allowed only three hits on the afternoon – his first start of the season.
“We shuffled a few guys around and tried to rest some of our bigger arms,” Wheatmore coach Bret Garrett said.
Garrett went to relief pitcher Cole Tickle, who was solid for three innings before letting Andrews score a pair of runs in the fifth to make it 11-8. Regretfully, Garrett had to use his ace, Chase Saunders, to close the door on any potential comeback.
“It wasn’t something we wanted to do,” Garrett said. “I wanted to be able to rely on the back end of our rotation. But we had to bring in Chase, who’s been our No. 1 all year, to stop the bleeding.”
Saunders threw 10 pitches and struck out both batters he faced.
Despite the loss, the Red Raiders took some positives from the game.
“We’re making contact and we’re trying to teach our guys to see the pitches and understand what the pitcher is trying to do,” Norris said.
Andrews slipped to 3-9 overall and 2-3 in the PAC-6, while Wheatmore, maintaining its hold on first place in the PAC-6, improved to 9-7, 4-1.