Dimock/Emery, Johnson beat Garretson in first round
SIOUX FALLS -- Phil Johnson is a momentum breaker.
“He always has been and always will be,” said Bartscher, whose team returned to the site of their 2010 championship, Sioux Falls Stadium, for the first time since claiming the title.
Johnson -- Dimock-Emery’s ace -- was perfect through three innings, striking out four and forcing harmless, routine groundouts.
With a 5-0 lead and looking to be in full control of the game, Johnson and the Raptors returned to the field and got two quick outs. The next out didn’t come as easy.
The next five Garretson batters reached, one by error and four by hits, to score three runs and pull within two.
“A lot of that was my fault,” said Johnson, who had five 1-2-3 innings and finished with nine strikeouts in the victory. “I didn’t come back and make good enough pitches.”
After Garretson’s big fourth inning, Johnson and the Raptors’ defense went into lockdown mode. In the final five innings, no Garretson baserunner reached third base, and Johnson retired 15 of the 19 batters he faced.
“We did a great job defensively of not giving up, not burying our heads and coming back and getting the next out,” Johnson said.
Johnson threw a complete game, allowing seven hits, no earned runs and walking one.
Garretson tried to make a rally in the bottom of the ninth, getting runners on first and second with one out. But a pair of groundouts to second base advanced the Raptors to the second round, where they’ll face Colman at 8 p.m. Monday.
Sam Pischke got Dimock/Emery on the board in the bottom of the first on an RBI groundout by Johnson. In the third, the Raptors took a 2-0 lead when Jason Schmidt -- who had a game-high three hits -- scored on a wild pitch.
Before Garretson’s big inning, the Raptors scored three two-out runs in the top of the fourth, getting an RBI double from Pischke to score Jon Hart and an RBI triple from Schmidt for a 4-0 advantage. Schmidt plated another run to push the lead to five on another wild pitch.
The Raptors finished with 12 hits, recording seven of them off Garretson starter Nick Bonte. After Schmidt scored Dimock/Emery’s final run of the game and Doug Sudbeck had a seeing-eye single, Bonte was pulled after 3 2/3 innings. Brad Donovan pitched the rest of the way for the Blue Jays, recording five strikeouts and allowing five hits.
“Twelve hits, that’s more than the last 17 games combined it seems like,” Bartscher said. “It’s a step forward and we’ve got to keep building on it, and we’ve got to score more runs.”
Schmidt finished 3-for-4 with an RBI, Pischke was 2-for-4 with an RBI, Josh Engquist was 2-for-5 and Doug Sudbeck was 1-for-3 with two sacrifice bunts that both led to runs.
Garretson’s Derrek Chester was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and the Blue Jays’ only other player with multiple hits was Ryan Breitling, who had two singles and an RBI.