Walk-off winners: Whittell splits with Incline in wild doubleheader
Whittell’s longest road trip to the San Diego area began on a cool, cloudy Monday afternoon. The 525-mile journey didn’t faze the Warriors, but Tri City Christian’s fast pitching and strong defense proved too much in a 9-4 loss.
The Red & Gold looked sharp in the early innings. Though never ahead, Whittell came back to tie the Eagles twice and stayed within reach until the 6th inning.
Down 1-0 in the 2nd, Matt Elliott singled and worked his way to 3rd after Julian Washalefsky walked and Robbie Poet sacrificed them a base further. The stocky freshman then scored on a passed ball to tie the game.
Behind again, 3-1 in the 3rd, Taylor Weik drew a lead-off walk and Ty Sprock sliced a double to right. Alex Potnick was intentionally passed to load the bases with no outs and give Whittell their best opportunity of the afternoon. Alex Vogt and Elliott both walked to force in runs knot the score at 3-3, but Tri-City brought in a fresh pitcher who then struck out the side. On the day, the Warriors went down on strikes 10 times.
Tri-City took command with 3-run bursts in the 4th and 6th innings. The Eagles strung together a mix of hits and walks, and took advantage of a couple infield miscues to build their decisive lead.
Whittell tallied a final run in the 5th when Vogt walked, stole 2nd, advanced to 3rd on an infield out and scored on another passed ball.
The Warriors fought gamely to the end. Potnick, who had laced a double in the first frame, might have had another in the 7th but was robbed by Eagle center-fielder Paul Keating who wowed the crowd with a diving major-league quality catch.
There were other bright spots for Whittell defensively. Sophomore lefty Cody Gibson fanned two in pitching a perfect 7th inning. Warrior pitching combined to whiff 9 Eagles on the day, Washalefsky and Potnick together with 7.
“We made some mistakes, but all together we played a pretty good game,” said Coach Starbuck Teevan. “We got contributions from everyone. We’re looking forward to more games in the tournament and finishing off strong.”
Whittell (12-8) continues play at the 61st Annual Lions Invitational baseball tournament with another game Wednesday.
Whittell splits with Incline in wild doubleheader
Whittell ace Alex Vogt dominated on the mound and fellow seniors “Petey” Potnick and Julian Washalefsky clubbed major-league sized home runs in a 13-1 romp Saturday over Incline in the first of 2 games at Governor’s Field in Carson City.
The lefty Vogt whiffed 12 Highlanders during his 6-inning stint. He allowed only 3 hits, two to Mount Rose League batting leader Chip Bouchard, and a lone run in the 6th after Cam Powell doubled and later scored on Patrick Howe’s sac fly.
Vogt and Whittell got all the offensive support they needed in the 1st when Matt Elliott’s 2 RBI single staked them to a 3-0 lead. But they were hardly finished.
Potnick added insurance by sizing into Howe, his long-time rival and Highlander starter, driving a 2-run shot well over the 340 ft sign in left. “Petey” finished the game with 2 hits and 3 RBI.
Later, Washalefsky went Sputnik with a prodigious launch that cleared both the fence in left-center and the adjoining street. He also had 3 RBI for the game, finishing just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Center-field sophomore Ty Sprock returned to the lineup in the No. 2 spot for Whittell, knocking three hits and scoring 3 runs. Vogt also had 2 hits and 3 RBI in the 13-hit attack.
The Warriors would have scored in every inning if not for Incline’s Davis Bedient, whose diving inning-ending catch in the 4th left two stranded. He robbed a Warrior of an extra-base hit with another diving catch in the 2nd game.
In the nightcap, the Highlanders rallied with 4 in the 7th to win the nightcap, 14-13.
Whittell broke fast, as Taylor Weik hit a lead-off triple down the line in right, later scoring on a double by Potnick. In the 2nd, Eric Ward’s RBI single put the Warriors ahead, 2-0.
But this time Incline came back. As in their first meeting, walks and errors gave opportunities to the Highlanders, and they cashed in for 6 unearned runs. Andrew Carlson, Howe and Patrick Murray provided key hits. Potnick relieved Washalefsky for the Warriors.
Whittell’s turn now: 6 unanswered runs over the next two innings on hits from Jess Latta, Vogt and Elliott. And Washalefsky crushed another one – a solo blast to left, giving the Warriors an 8-6 lead.
Bottom of the 4th: Incline bounced back. Bouchard doubled and Howe evened the score with both Whittell and Potnick, uncorking a 2-run homer to left center. The blast just missed taking out a passing motorist on the frontage road. Score tied 8-8.
Controversy raged in the bottom of the 5th when a sacrifice bunt got by three Warrior infielders and nearly rolled into right field. But second baseman Robbie Poet chased it down, then threw to Weik at 3rd to get the Incline runner, who, it was ruled after much discussion, ran outside the baseline. Bouchard, the next Highlander batter, smacked a 2-run dinger to right-center. Incline up 10-8.
In the 6th, Whittell quickly loaded the bases with a two walks sandwiched around a hit batsman. Enter Cody Feliciano in relief for Incline. The wiry righty had handcuffed Warrior hitters on 2 hits for 6 innings on Wednesday. But this time, Vogt greeted him with a grand-slam blast to right center, very close to where Bouchard’s smash had landed. Whittell led again, and Poet’s RBI single later in the inning pushed the Warrior’s advantage to 13-10.
But in the bottom of the 7th, Feliciano got the last laugh – with his bat. Doubles by Powell and Murray and 2 walks brought Incline back to 13-12. Then Feliciano poked a triple to deep center, driving in two for the win. Kyle Clothier, who had walked, ended up both scoring the winning run and picking up the win in relief.