Mon, Apr. 2, 2012 - [Baseball]
Nathan Wood hit his first and second home runs of the year over the weekend
St. Louis, Mo.--The William Penn baseball team traveled south to the city known as the ‘Gateway to the West', but by the conclusion of the weekend, it left a little confused on which direction its season was headed.
The Statesmen (12-15), winners of nine of 11 entering the weekend, lost both matchups Saturday to Harris-Stowe State, 4-1 and 3-2, before rebounding for their lone win, 12-7, to start Sunday. The weekend ended with a 10-8 setback.
The navy and gold were victimized by two big innings Saturday. Randall Packard (Sr., Forestville, Calif., Cal State-Monterey) scored his team's only run in the opener, coming home on a second-inning single by Aaron Laird (Sr., Oskaloosa, Oskaloosa HS).
Unfortunately, the Hornets (18-21) answered back with four runs in the third and made it stick.
William Penn matched its host with nine hits, including two each by Packard, Jayme Mueller (Jr., Mundelein, Ill., College of Lake County CC), and Brad Chin (Sr., San Rafael, Calif., San Rafael HS).
David Ness (Sr., Purceville, Va., Frederick CC) tossed a solid game, but took the loss to fall to 4-2. He struck out four and walked one in the complete game.
The Statesmen scored early in Saturday's nightcap, but again witnessed the home team coming from behind to win. Packard's sacrifice fly tallied Stanley Muller (Sr., Tucson, Ariz., Cochise CC) to make it 1-0 after the top half of the first.
Jorge Quezada (Jr., San Ysidro, Calif., Castle Park HS) has been dominant in his past few outings, and minus the first three batters he faced Saturday, that was again the case.
The Hornets stung the junior by leading off the first with a walk, a double, and then a three-run home run to go ahead for good.
Quezada, who fell to 4-3, was masterful the remainder of the game, striking out seven (one walk) and giving up only two more hits after the initial frame.
Laird singled in Nathan Wood (Jr., Tucson, Ariz., Arizona Western CC) in the seventh, but William Penn failed to plate the tying run. The senior went 2-for-3 to lead all batters as the Statesmen held a 6-4 edge in base knocks.
After lackluster showings on Saturday, the offenses bounced back in the third and fourth games of the weekend.
Down 1-0 past the midway point, the visitors finally got on the board with three runs in the fifth, including a solo home run by Wood (his first of 2012) and an RBI single by Mueller. Pinchrunner Daniel Wehr (Sr., Sigourney, Sigourney HS) also touched home plate on an error.
Still up 3-2 going into the final inning, the navy and gold erupted with nine runs to put the game out of reach.
For likely the first time in school history (record is not kept), two William Penn players cleared the fence with grand slams. Packard did it first to bring in Mueller, Muller, and Wehr, while Tony Mancuso (Sr., Covina, Calif., Citrus CC) also accomplished the feat to score Laird, Wood, and pinch hitter Julio Riojas (Jr., Hampton, Ill., Carl Sandburg CC).
Wood doubled home Chin in the seventh as well. The Statesmen, led by three hits from both Muller and Wood, outhit HSS 12-8.
Danny Erece(Jr., Chula Vista, Calif., Southwestern CC) picked up the win to improve to 3-2.
A sizeable five-run advantage in the weekend finale was not enough to earn William Penn the split.
The squad put two on the board in the first, including an RBI single by Wood to plate Mueller. Two more were recorded in the second on a double by Nick Kirby (Sr., Palmdale, Calif., Antelope Valley CC) to score Evelio Ahumada (Sr., Hacienda Heights, Calif., Citrus CC) and a Packard sac fly that brought in Muller.
Wood then racked up another roundtripper, his second of the season in the third. He is now tied with Packard for the squad lead.
The Hornets battled back, however, tallying ten unanswered. Despite a three-run seventh, the Statesmen did not have enough left to pull out the victory. Ahumada drove in Chin on a hit-by-pitch, while Muller singled home both Wood and Laird (went from third to home on an error).
The visitors lost the hits category 13-9, but were lifted up by three base knocks from both Muller and Wood. Kirby concluded his weekend with two hits in the finale.
Next: William Penn travels to Davenport Wednesday to meet St. Ambrose in a Midwest Collegiate Conference doubleheader beginning at 6 p.m.