A double steal and a pair of doubles was the catalyst in #1 ranked Quitman’s, 3-0 victory over #8 Pitkin in the Class B quarterfinals. The victory sets up a state baseball tournament semi-final matchup against #4 Converse, who beat Weston in 10 innings, on Wednesday, May 11th in Sulphur, LA. Game time is set for 10:00 am.
A daring move by Quitman head coach Joe Lockhart helped get Quitman on top in the bottom of the third. Lockhart knew that any chance to manufacture a run would be necessary after the Wolverines left runners on second and third in the second inning and Quitman starter Ian Tilley left Pitkin base runners stranded on second in two of the first three innings.
When Luke Morgan reached on one of the four Pitkin errors made on the day, Lockhart called for him to steal second. A base hit by Logan Ponder put runners on first and third. Lockhart again called for a steal of second with a twist. This time Ponder intentionally got caught up on the base path allowing Morgan the chance to scamper home.
Tilley crafted his way through four innings on the mound allowing just two hits before being replaced in the top of the fifth by Blake Carter but as hit and two walks gave Pitkin runners on each base. Regional round winner Ty Simonelli entered and in just two pitches coaxed a fly ball to center to end the threat.
Quitman got some breathing room in the bottom of the sixth when Simonelli opened the frame with a single. This time the base running strategy backfired though as just after Simonelli was caught trying to steal second, Ponder slapped a double to right. Riley Duck followed with a clutch to score Ponder and then crossed the plate himself after a Tilley double and a Carter sac fly.
Ten Simonelli pitches later the Wolverines had punched their ticket to Sulphur. There they will face #$ Converse for the right to play either fellow 2B competitor, Choudrant or #11 Anacoco for the Class B state title.
|#8 Pitkin (20-9)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||4|
|#1 Quitman (17-12)||0||0||1||0||0||2||x||3||8||0|
WP – Tilley
LP – Perkins
2B – Ponder, Tilley
RBI – Duck, Carter
RS – Morgan, Duck Ponder
SB – Morgan 2