The Whiteoak Wildcats traveled to VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe for a Div. IV district semi-final match-up against the number one seeded Waterford Wildcats. Whiteoak fell by a score of 11-1 in five innings.
Traeten Hamilton of Whiteoak got things started on the right foot for the Wildcats with a lead-off triple. Chase Butler followed up with an excellent at bat and drew a walk to put runners on first and third. Trever Yeager popped-out to the second baseman for out number one. Caleb West hit a fly-ball to the left fielder for out number two, and Brandon Lowe struck out to end the inning and leave Hamilton and Butler stranded.
The Waterford Wildcats exploded out of the gates in the bottom of the first. Waterford put up six runs in the inning as Whiteoak committed three errors.
The top of the second inning started with Casey Nace hitting a fly ball to left field for out number one. Evan Brill drew a walk in the next at bat to place a runner on first for the boys from Highland County. Ryan Roberts followed up the walk by hitting into an inning ending 3-4-1 double play.
Waterford was able to put up another run in the bottom of the second inning. Brill of Whiteoak was pitching to contact but the defense behind him was unable to make a play and committed two more errors in the inning.
The top of the third started with Zach Harless grounding out to the short stop for the first out of the inning. Hamilton drew a walk in the next at bat. Butler struck out in the next at bat for out number two. Yeager drew the second walk of the inning to put runners on first and second for Whiteoak. West reached on an error when the Waterford second baseman was unable to handle bouncing grounder, Hamilton scored on the play. West would be out number three when attempting to take second base after Hamilton scored.
The bottom of the third featured a spectacular stop by Hamilton at second base to limit the Waterford batter to a single and clutch pitching by Whiteoak starter Brill as he got himself out of a bases loaded, two out jam by striking out a Waterford batter to end the inning. Despite the apparent awakening of the Whiteoak defense the opposing team was able to score a run to push their lead to 8-1.
The top of the fourth inning started with Lowe and Nace both striking out. Brill followed with a brilliant at bat that saw him foul off at least three pitches before finally drawing a walk. Roberts was next with another solid at bat for the Highland County representatives and drew the second straight walk of the inning. However, as was the case all night for the local Wildcats they were not able to capitalize as Harless struck out swinging to end the inning.
Butler replaced Brill on the mound to start the bottom of the fourth inning and was effective with his variety of off-speed pitches needing to face only four batters to close the inning.
The top of the the fifth inning saw Hamilton, Butler, and Yeager go down in order.
The Waterford Wildcats sealed the five inning win by scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth to take the 11-1 victory.
The Whiteoak Wildcats committed 10 errors on the night allowing 10 unearned runs. Coach Chris Veidt said of the errors after the game, “Our goal every game is to have five or less freebies, today we had 10 and you can’t do that and continue on. Especially against a team of this caliber.”
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.
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