Larchwood knocks out Dimock/EmeryJason Schmidt was 3-for-3 with a double, a stolen base and two walks but Dimock/Emery fell 3-2 to Larchwood, Iowa, in the first round of the Class B state amateur baseball tournament Friday at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.
By: Kevin Pottebaum, The Daily Republic
Jason Schmidt was 3-for-3 with a double, a stolen base and two walks but Dimock/Emery fell 3-2 to Larchwood, Iowa, in the first round of the Class B state amateur baseball tournament Friday at Cadwell Park in Mitchell.
Schmidt came up to bat in the top of the ninth with runners on first and third in a one-run game. He was intentionally walked, putting the lead runner in scoring position.
“He’s a great hitter and we know what he can do,” Larchwood manager Chris Underberg said. “We weren’t about to let him beat us.”
The decision paid off as Gary Earl struck out to end the game with the bases loaded.
“It’s a hard deal, even with Schmidt up, to put the winning run on second base,” Dimock/Emery manager Ron DeGeest said. “You tip your hat to them for making the right call there.
“There’s nobody I would have rather have up then Schmidt, but Gary’s had some big hits, too.”
Phil Johnson was stuck with the loss on the mound for Dimock/Emery. He pitched he entire game, allowing three runs — two earned — on six hits and two walks. He hit one batter and struck out seven.
All of Larchwood’s scoring came in the third inning. Jon Underberg led the inning off with an infield single and was followed by a Noah Bohlmann walk.
The first run of the game came on a ground ball by Larchwood’s Vinny Smith. Schmidt fielded a ground ball at shortstop and threw it to second baseman Mike
Stephenson, who stepped on second for the out and fired to first for an attempted double play.
Smith beat the throw and was safe on the play and Underberg hustled his way around third and scored.
After a fly out, Jason Rasmussen was hit by a pitch to put two runners on. Cody Grotewold singled to right to score Smith, and an errant throw by right fielder Sam Pischke allowed the base runners to advance.
Johnson struck out leadoff hitter Travis Feekes, but not before a wild pitch allowed one more run to score.
“We played well enough to win, with the exception of one inning,” DeGeest said. “It wasn’t the hits that got to us that inning either.
“It’s the little things that are going to win or lose games at the state tournament and that was the case.”
Along with Schmidt, Doug Sudbeck and Jon Hart each had two hits.
Travis Pugliese got the win for Larchwood. He pitched five scoreless innings and allowed five hits and had two strikeouts.
He left the game after falling while coming out of the dugout for the sixth inning. He twisted his ankle and Larchwood had to go to the bullpen.
Left-hander Jared Kirkeby came in to start the sixth and finished out the game, allowing two unearned runs on five hits and two walks.
Chris Underberg said it was an easy choice to go with Kirkeby, who almost was named the starting pitcher due to five left-handed hitters in Dimock/Emery’s lineup.
“We debated starting (Kirkeby) because of the left-handed matchups,” Underberg said. “He’s really our number two starter and not much of a reliever, but he was our best option and you’ve got to win that one to get to game two.”
No Larchwood hitters had multiple hits. Buhlmann finished 1-for-1 with two walks.
Dimock/Emery’s season ended with the loss, while Larchwood plays Crofton, Neb., at 8 p.m. Monday in a second-round game.
NOTES: Both starting pitchers picked off a runner from first base. Johnson picked off Grotewold to end the fourth inning while Pugliese caught courtesy runner Tyson Kayser off guard to end the Raptors’ second inning. … Of Johnson’s seven strikeouts, four were without swings from the batter. In the fifth and sixth innings, Johnson had a streak of three straight batters caught watching strike three.