Strong start lifts W-MU baseball over New London
NEW LONDON — Winfield-Mt. Union scored six runs in the first frame of last night’s baseball game at New London, and — despite a late push — the gap proved to be too much for the Tigers to make up.
W-MU claimed the win by a score of 12-9.
“We hit really well — we got off to a real good start,” W-MU Coach Kenton Klopfenstein said. “Six runs in the first inning is a pretty big deal; we haven’t been able to do that yet this year.”
The Wolves had five straight singles to open the first inning, and then capitalized on an error and a walk as well, giving themselves a 4-0 lead. Two more singles scored two more runs before the Tigers could get the final out.
“Six up in the first inning was too much to come back from,” New London Coach Brad Helmerson said. “We kept fighting, but just couldn’t (make up those six runs).”
The Tigers got one back in the bottom of the first frame and scored two in the second, cutting the Wolves’ lead to three.
The third inning was scoreless, but Wolves tacked on at least one run every inning from there on out, including three in the sixth frame, and the Tigers just couldn’t catch up.
“We were able to extend the lead when they started to creep back,” Klopfenstein said.
New London made a big push with a four-run fifth inning — getting help from three consecutive doubles by Matayo Christianer, Devon Smyth and Jayden Flowers — and they scored two more in the sixth, but they were unable to do any damage in the last frame and ultimately fell short.
Both coaches credit relentless W-MU hitting with the win — the Wolves finished with 17 hits on the night.
“We didn’t really commit errors, and I don’t think Matayo (Christianer) was pitching badly...they just hit the ball, and hit it where we weren’t,” Helmerson said.
“We had a lot of two-out hits, and we had several guys with several hits; the whole lineup was hitting,” Klopfenstein said.
Seven different W-MU players had at least two hits, led by Kyle Davis, who went 3-for-4.
For the Tigers, Dalton Dudley went 3-for-4, while Quincy Porter and Tyler Shinkle had two hits each.
The Wolves also had a much-improved night defensively — they had 10 errors in their Monday-night game against Highland, but only one mishap in last night’s contest.
Christianer went six innings and allowed 15 hits and 11 runs (nine earned). He walked one and struck out seven. Flowers got the final three outs, giving up two hits for one earned run. He fanned one.
Travis Jones pitched for W-MU, giving up 11 hits for nine runs (eight earned) and striking out eight in 5 2/3 innings. Garret Baker pitched in relief, giving up one hit and striking out one batter in 1 1/3 innings.
The Wolves are now 6-12 overall and remain 5-11 in the SEISC North.The Tigers are 8-14 and 6-8 in the SEISC South.
W-MU hosts Danville tonight, starting with the JV game at 5:30 p.m.
New London plays its final regular-season game on Monday at Highland, starting with JV at 5:30 p.m.