Blue Dons Knock Off Yellowjackets in Game 1
photo by: Kerry Patrick
Blue Dons Knock Off Yellowjackets in Game 1
By KERRY PATRICK
For The Intelligencer
WILLIAMSTOWN — The absence of clutch hitting let Williamstown down in Game 1 of Monday’s Class A, Region I championship.
The success rate for the Yellowjackets with runners in scoring position was seven percent in 14 opportunities against Madonna as senior right-hander Matt Amaismeier worked out of multiple jams in a 4-2 victory.
“We have to score more runs,” Williamstown coach Levi Maxwell said. “I thought we squared some balls off their pitcher — we just didn’t execute when we had runners in scoring position.
“Same thing happened last year. We get guys on, we just have to get them in.”
Amaismeier limited the vaunted 1-2 attack by the Molessa brothers (Leewood and Maxwell) to a combined 1-for-8 and closed out his complete-game effort by inducing a ground ball into a fielder’s choice with the tying run on first base and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Game 2 of this best-of-three format goes to Madonna’s home field on Tuesday. Blue Dons coach Jeff Baire plans to give the ball to another senior in Parker Haney in hopes of eliminating Williamstown from the tournament field.
“We knew it was going to be a battle and we would have to be locked in from the first pitch all the way through the end,” Baire said. “We took advantage of their pitcher getting his pitches high in the zone. I told the kids, ‘If you are going to be given an opportunity this time of year, you have to take advantage.’
“We put the pressure on them early, and that’s one thing we have learned this season. When we put the pressure on and play relaxed, it makes it easier for us.”
The 24-5 Yellowjackets, who did not face Amaismeier in their lone regular season meeting on March 28, are hoping to force a third and deciding Game 3 on Wednesday.
“You would like to win the first game, but you have to win two games anyway,” coach Maxwell said.
Despite tossing zeroes over his final 3 1/3 innings of work, Chase Barkley took the loss. The senior right-hander struck out four and walked none while while working the full seven innings.
Madonna’s bats got to Barkley right out of the gate with a run in first inning, two more in the second and a solo run in the fourth. The Blue Dons accounted for seven of their 10 hits in the first two innings.
After Madonna’s first three hitters (Koleton Grishkevich, Luke Amaismeier and Matt Amaismeier) of the game singled to load the bases, Chase Littleton followed with a sacrifice fly.
In the second inning, Brycen Hair led off with a base hit and David Connors followed with a run-scoring double. With two outs and Connors at third base, Grishkevich singled to center field to push the Madonna lead to 3-0.
After Barkley turned in his only perfect inning in the fourth, Madonna scored its final run in the fourth inning. With runners at second and third and one out, Grishkevich hit into a fielder’s choice that allowed Lucas McCallister to score.
“Chase didn’t have his best stuff today, but he gave us a chance to win,” coach Maxwell said. “He left the ball up in the early innings and Madonna was hitting him well. They were squaring him pretty good in the beginning.”
Williamstown, which stranded nine runners for the game, finally broke through with single runs in the home half of the fifth inning and again in the sixth inning.
Ty Ott, who went 2-for-4 at the plate, singled home Carson Hill with two outs in the fifth to cut the deficit to 4-1.The Yellowjackets turned a nifty shortstop-to-second-to-first double play in top of the sixth inning then narrowed to the gap to 4-2 in their half of the inning as the courtesy runner advanced two bases on TJ Thomas’ deep fly out to center field.
“We knew their pitcher was going to throw strikes — he came out and did exactly what we thought,” coach Maxwell said. “We just weren’t getting good barrels on bats.”
Matt Amaismeier issued his only two walks in the Yellowjacket seventh inning, but received a major assist from his second baseman on a pair of ground balls resulting in outs. Madonna (15-16), which eliminated 40 errors from its defensive total from last season, committed just one error against Williamstown.
“I decided to work the one through four guys away,” Matt Amaismeier said. “They have a lot of lefties and I am a righty, so I like to work guys away already. I was working away and getting the outside strike call.
“I didn’t get a lot of swings and misses. My team really helped me today on defense.”
Madonna’s 10-hit attack include two-hit games from Grishkevich, Matt and Luke Amaismeier and David Connors. Maxwell Molessa produced Williamstown’s only extra base it — a triple in the third inning. Teammate Harbor Haught contributed two hits to the Yellowjackets’ final total of eight.