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Whetham propels Garretson into semifinals

Patrick Whetham kept high-scoring Winner/Colome at bay for most of the night and Garretson rallied for a 5-4 win against the Pheasants on Thursday during the Class B state amateur baseball tournament at Cadwell Park.

Winner/Colome's Dillon Lambley shows the ball to the umpire on a pickoff attempt at first base on Thursday during the Class B state amateur tournament at Cadwell Park. Garretson's Nick Bonte was safe on the play. (Ryan Deal/Republic)
Winner/Colome's Dillon Lambley shows the ball to the umpire on a pickoff attempt at first base on Thursday during the Class B state amateur tournament at Cadwell Park. Garretson's Nick Bonte was safe on the play. (Ryan Deal/Republic)

Patrick Whetham kept high-scoring Winner/Colome at bay for most of the night and Garretson rallied for a 5-4 win against the Pheasants on Thursday during the Class B state amateur baseball tournament at Cadwell Park.

Whetham, a Dakota Wesleyan pitcher, pitched nine strong innings for the Blue Jays. He allowed three earned runs on nine hits. He struck out 10 batters.

"Whetham threw very well," Winner/Colome manager Kevin Graesser said. "He is a good pitcher. He did what he had to do."

Whetham got some help in the top of the ninth from his teammates. Trailing 4-3, Garretson loaded the bases on three straight walks with one out. Garretson's Austin Vanhove hit a groundball back at Winner/Colome pitcher Derek Graesser, who overthrew the catcher and Dustin Steckler scored from third to tie it up. Instead of a potential game-ending double play, the Blue Jays made it 4-4.

"We have a potential double play at home to first and we don't even get one," Kevin Graesser said. "That was a killer."

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Sam Johnson then singled to center field to bring in Nick Bonte from third base for the go-ahead run.

"They have always came through for me throughout the season," Whetham said about Garretson's offense in the ninth. "I can't thank them enough for getting us that win. I am just happy to move on-survive and advance."

Whetham made sure the Blue Jays advanced in the bottom of the ninth inning. He struck out the first two batters before Derek Graesser got a base hit. However, Geno Katz flied out to right field to end the game.

"We knew we were going to have to play well," Whetham said. "We scored just enough and made the plays on the defense."

Winner/Colome scored 32 runs and had 35 hits through the first two games of the tournament but Whetham kept the Pheasant bats quiet for most of the night.

"Just keeping them off-balanced," Whetham said about his performance. "Mixing speeds, mixing heights of pitches, locations in and out."

The two teams exchanged the lead six times. The Pheasants took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. Winner/Colome's Reed Harter laid down a perfectly executed bunt down the third base line and he beat out the throw to load the bases.

Lakin Neugebauer reached on a fielder's choice to score pick-up player Luke Bamberg (Corsica/Stickney) from third base.

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Katz gave Winner/Colome the lead with a two-RBI single that plated J.J. Farner and Neugebauer.

The Pheasants, however, were unable to keep the lead as the Blue Jays rallied in the ninth.

"That is frustrating the way we let it slip away," Kevin Graesser said.

Derek Graesser took the loss for Winner/Colome, which finished its season 21-5. He pitched three innings, walked seven, struck out six and allowed two runs.

Garretson (17-6) will now play the Dell Rapids Mudcats at 1 p.m. Saturday in the semifinals of the state tournament.

"Dells travels well. We travel well," Whetham said. "Hopefully, we pack Cadwell and let it take care of itself."

NOTES: Before the game, Mitchell's Landon Neugebauer received the South Dakota umpire scholarship. The Dakota Wesleyan baseball player received $500.

Garretson 000 001 202-5 5 1

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Winner/Colome 001 000 300-4 9 1

WP: Patrick Whetham. LP: Derek Graesser. Pitchers: Patrick Whetham and Brady Bonte; Tarell Bould, Derek Graesser (7) and Geno Katz.

Related Topics: CADWELL PARK
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