By scoring eight runs in the bottom of the third inning Weston “ten run” ruled Hornbeck 10-0 to storm into the Quarterfinals of the LHSAA baseball playoffs for the third straight year. Weston will now face Converse on May 3rd for the right to advance to the Division V state tourney that will be played in Sulphur.
With the victory the Wolves, who tied Quitman with a 5-1 record in district 1B and earned the #7 seed in the Division V, improved to 16-14 on the year, while #10 Hornbeck, who was the undefeated champion of District 3C, ends the year at 17-8 overall.
Eight is enough! Doubles by Tait Henderson and Drew Browning along with a single by Bryce Zehr helped Weston take advantage of four Hornbeck errors, three walks and a catchers interference call that broke the game open. The big inning started with Cole Tolar and Cooper Delaney drawing walks followed by an error on a fly to center field off the bat of Browning. Jacob Gill followed by reaching first on a catcher’s interference call leading to Culpepper reaching on the second Hornbeck error of the inning. Skylar Watkins then reached on a walk, Zehr singled to right and Henderson doubled. Henderson then stole third and scored on the throw that got away to give Weston their eighth run of the inning that upped the lead to 10-0 after three.
Quick Strike! The Wolves took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first thanks to the first of the six Hornbeck errors on the day and problems by the Hornbeck battery. With two outs in the frame Henderson reached first on an error by the Hornbeck pitcher who then made a wild pitch that advanced the runner. Three pitches later Henderson took third on a passed ball and then scored when Tolar singled to center field.
Walk this way! Weston doubled the lead to 2-0 in the second when Browning singled, Gill got hit by a pitch and Blaine Graham walked on four straight pitches. Hornbeck managed to get two outs without any damage but Zehr drew another four pitch walk to force in the run.
Tamed by Tait! While Hornbeck hurlers were having trouble, Tait Henderson was having no such problem. Throwing 45 of his 68 pitches for strikes Henderson allowed only three meaningless singles to gain the victory.
Five leads to ten! Weston got five hits on the day, led by two from Browning (2B, RS) and one each by Zehr (3 RBI, RS) , Henderson (2B, 2RS, RBI, SB) and Tolar (RBI). That coupled with the six walks, six errors and one hit batter it was more than enough to end the contest early. Tayt Culpepper also had 2RBI and scored a run, while Gill scored two and knocked one in. Delaney and Watkins also scored a run each.
|#10 Hornbeck (17-8)||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||6|
|#7 Weston (16-14)||1||1||8||0||x||10||5||3|
2B – Browning (WHS), Henderson (WHS)
RBI – Zehr 3 (WHS), Culpepper 2 (WHS), Henderson (WHS), Tolar (WHS), Gill (WHS)
RS – Henderson 2 (WHS), Gill 2 (WHS), Watkins (WHS), Zehr (WHS), Delaney (WHS), Browning (WHS), Culpepper (WHS)
SB – Henderson (WHS)
Quitman eliminated by late Fairview rally
Eleventh seeded Fairview only got five hits in the regional round playoff game against Quitman. Three of them that was coupled with a wild pitch led to two runs in the top of the sixth inning and that was enough to upset Quitman by a 2-1 score.
Quitman, seeded #6 in the Division V playoffs, ends the year with a 1-15 record and snaps a three year run of making the quarterfinals or better. Fairview, now 14-6 on the year and who earned the right to play Quitman by beating Maurepas 2-0 in the opening round, advances to face #3 Pitkin.
The Wolverines got six hits on the day and had two reach base via a walk and a hit batter but left runners stranded on base in four innings, much to the dismay of head coach Joe Lockhart.
“We made way to fly ball outs,” said Lockhart. “When you don’t have much power you have to put the ball in play where the opponent has to work to get an out. We made it to easy on them today.”
Taking the lead! The Wolverines broke on top in the bottom of the second inning when Kace West hit a grounder to short and alertly scampered to second on the error. Hudson Pullig then followed with a double to left.
Missed opportunity! Quitman also got three hits in the sixth inning, but while Fairview capitalized their three hits into two runs, the Wolverines failed to strike even once. Riley Duck got things started with his second hit of the day with one out but was caught trying to steal second. As fate would have it, Ian Tilley and Kace West followed with back-to-back singles.
Hard luck loser! Quitman’s lack of offensive production saddled Ian Tilley with the hard luck loss. Pitching a fine game, Tilley threw 55 of his 83 pitches for strikes and allowed only six singles in his six innings of work. The contest marked the ninth time this season the Wolverines scored two runs or less.
|#11 Fairview (14-6)||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||2||5||1|
|#6 Quitman (10-15)||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||6||0|
2B – Pullig (QHS)
RBI – Pullig (QHS), Morrow (FHS)
RS – West (QHS), Strother (FHS), Martin (FHS)
SB – Ponder
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