Baseball roundup: Dragons win opener in walk-off fashion
Story and photo by Dennis Sharkey
The Valley Falls Dragons split a double header with Immaculata to open the 2011 season.
It was the first game action for the Dragons since losing in the Class 2A state championship game last May.
The Dragons won the first game 2-1 in a pitchers’ duel between Dragons’ sophomore Jessie Blick and Immaculata senior Tyler Heintzelman. The Dragons dropped the second game 8-7.
In the top of the first inning of the first game Blick made quick work of the Raiders one and two hitters before giving up a line drive blast that cleared the right field fence for a home run and a 1-0 lead for Immaculata.
Blick faced trouble in the second inning with runners at second and third base after a double steal. He got the next batter to pop out to the short stop to end the inning.
Blick issued a walk to the first batter in the third inning but quickly picked the runner off of first. The next two batters struck out to end the inning.
The Dragons’ offense had a tough time early against Heintzelman. He retired the first seven hitters before Luke Burns got a single in the third inning.
The Dragons finally broke through in the fourth inning that began with senior catcher Alex Lederer hitting a single to center. Lederer ended up at third base on a steal attempt when the catcher threw the ball over the covering fielders’ head. Blick hit a fly ball to right field to score Lederer and tie the game.
Blick also began to settle down on the mound in the fourth inning. It was his first one, two, three inning including two strike outs.
In the fifth inning Blick walked the first batter but then got an out with another pick off that resulted in a run down. He finished the inning with two strike outs.
Blick ran back into trouble in the sixth inning after a fielding error by the short stop and a walk. However, he used his quick moves to pick off the runner at second base after the runner escaped a run down earlier in the inning.
Blick got a one, two, three inning in the seventh.
The Dragons had chances to take the lead in the fifth and sixth innings with a runner at third base but could not break through.
In the fifth inning the Dragons had runners at second and third with two outs but Brock Watson struck out to end the inning.
In the sixth inning the Dragons had Blick at third base with two outs after he walked and stole second base but ended up at third base on a throwing error. However, a grounder to the second baseman ended the inning.
With one out in the seventh inning Burns reached base on an error by the second baseman. Heintzelman walked the next two batters and Watson came to the plate with the bases loaded.
This time Watson got the bat on the ball and hit a slow roller to the third baseman. Burns beat the throw for the walk-off win.
Bulldogs get slow start to 2011
The McLouth Bulldogs got a cold start to the 2011 season on a cold day.
The Bulldogs fell to Wellsville in a double header 10-3 and 16-0 at Stan Braksick Sports complex on Thursday, March 31. Temperatures for the game did not get out of the 30s.
The Bulldogs held a brief lead in the first game when Matthew Horton hit a three-run home run with two outs in the third inning to put the Bulldogs ahead 3-2.
However, Wellsville got four runs in the top of the fourth inning and held the Bulldogs scoreless the rest of the way. Horton was 3-3 for the game including three RBI. Brad Kabus was the winning pitcher.
In the second game Wellsville scored 11 runs in the third inning to run away. Tim Culter was the losing pitcher.
The Bulldogs are hoping to rebound from a 2010 season where they went winless.
Bears start 2011 fast
The Oskaloosa Bears got off to a quick start last week before cooling off on Friday.
The Bears began the season with a double header sweep of Doniphan West at home 11-1 and 24-1.
Levi Wade started the first game and pitched four innings giving up only one run and striking out six batters.
The Bears used a 19 run second inning to put Doniphan West away in the second game.
Friday the Bears dropped a game to Maur Hill/Mt. Academy 13-3.
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