BY RUSSELL HUFFMAN
DeLeon batted around the order in the first inning as Bryce Whiteley got things rolling with a three-run shot and the Bearcats never looked back jumping out to a 6-0 lead that turned into an 11-1 run-ruled contest against New Deal in Stamford Friday.
The noontime start left little shade and the blistering heat seemed to suit the Bearcats (24-2) as
Our kids, they thrive off of being able to jump on guys from the first inning,” Coach Reggie Patrick said. “Leave no doubt from the first pitch that’s what they did.”
That first inning was a classic one for the Bearcats as Kevin Yeager singled from the leadoff spot before being caught in a forced out on a bunt from Kelan Hodges. Hodges then made it to second after a pickoff throw went wild and then stole third base. Calvin Martin’s patience at the plate was rewarded with a walk which set the stage for Whiteley who crushed the offering over the centerfield wall and move DeLeon on top 3-0.
Mattson Locke, Chase Beck, Jake Sanders, Chris Cox and Yeager kept things rolling for the Bearcats with five consecutive singles with Cox’s poke driving in two runs. Hodges drew a walk to score the final run of the inning and could obviously have been worse as the Bearcats left three runners on base.
Whiteley kept New Deal in check through his four innings of work allowing just two hits while recording six strikeouts and allowing just one run. Sanders took over in relief and threw just 14 pitches to get out of the fifth inning. Whiteley’s pitch count of 78 also means he will be available if needed further in the series.
“Jake came in and did a phenomenal job, just like he always does, he’s come in in our last three games. He comes in and throws strikes. He’s a bulldog-type pitcher, he doesn’t get phased, he goes out there and competes,” Patrick said.
Kelan Hodges slides into second base to beat the tag.
DeLeon put the game away for good in the fifth inning starting out with doubles from Locke and Beck. Yeager’s RBI single got the scoring started and things just kept rolling as Hodges singled, Martin doubled and Whiteley added his fourth RBI to make it an 11-1 final.
The Bearcats continue their series for the regional semifinal championship at noon Saturday if a third game is needed it will start 30 minutes after the end of game two.
W: Bryce Whiteley
HBP: Bryce Whiteley
WP: Bryce Whiteley
Pitches-Strikes: Jake Sanders 14-9, Bryce Whiteley 78-47
Groundouts-Flyouts: Jake Sanders 0-1, Bryce Whiteley 2-3
First pitch strikes-Batters faced: Jake Sanders 3-4, Bryce Whiteley 11-19
2B: Mattson Locke, Chase Beck, Calvin Martin
HR: Bryce Whiteley
TB: Jake Sanders, Mattson Locke 3, Kevin Yeager 3, Chase Beck 3, Kelan Hodges, Chris Cox, Bryce Whiteley 5, Calvin Martin 2
RBI: Kevin Yeager, Kelan Hodges 2, Chris Cox 2, Bryce Whiteley 4, Calvin Martin 2
FC: Kelan Hodges, Chris Cox
GIDP: Blake Bellomy
SB: Kelan Hodges, Calvin Martin
PIK: Chase Beck