Baldwin knocks Somerset out of sectionals again
Somerset's hopes of reaching the WIAA State Baseball Championships ended just the way they ended in 2002.
A loss to Baldwin-Woodville in the sectional semifinals ended the Spartans' 2003 season, in the Somerset WIAA Summer Baseball Sectional Tournament last Friday. Somerset was hoping to qualify for the state baseball tournament for the first time.
Baldwin-Woodville then lost to Ashland in the sectional championship game, 6-4.
Somerset and Baldwin-Woodville have clashed in several crucial baseball games over the past two seasons.
Each time, B-W has been able to overcome the Spartans. That trend continued in the sectionals, where B-W jumped on the Spartans for a 9-2 win.
Somerset coach Damon Barta didn't decide until game time on his starting pitcher, Jake Reuvers, Tadd Landry or Taylor Germain. He chose Germain, who held B-W to one run in the first seven innings when the Spartans and Blackhawks played two weeks earlier.
"I had literally written down 21 different ways to handle the pitching," Barta said.
Germain justified the choice in the first inning, putting the Blackhawks down in order. He was pitching against Zac Campbell, who he had also battled the last two times the teams met.
Both coaches had decided to try going with their number two starters at the start of this game, knowing that Ashland would be the opponent in the championship game. The coaches hoped they could save their number one pitcher to throw against the Oredockers.
B-W shot down Barta's plans in the second inning. Tommy Thompson crushed Germain's first pitch of the inning for a double to the leftfield alley. Thompson then scored on Caleb Van Roekel's single. After two walks, a bases-loaded single made the score 3-0. At that point Barta pulled Germain and moved Reuvers to the mound.
The Hawks got two more hits in the inning, but Spartan centerfielder Shawn Walczak fired a laser beam to Germain, who had moved to catcher. Germain was able to tag the runner out at the plate.
Getting behind early seemed to affect the Spartans' judgement at the plate. In the third and fourth inning the Spartans looked bad at the plate, swinging at several pitches that were far outside the strike zone.
B-W's hitters stayed aggressive. The Hawks added a single run in the fourth inning, then put the game to rest with three runs in the fifth inning to make the score 7-0. They added two more runs in the sixth.
Somerset didn't score until the seventh inning. Reuvers led off the inning by doubling to rightfield. Tom Williams then cracked a two-run opposite field homer over the rightfield fence.
Neither team had any defensive problems in this game. B-W was able to turn two double plays in the game, ending Somerset threats in the second and sixth inning.
Barta said they have developed a mental block when facing Baldwin-Woodville, a team they haven't beaten since he's been coaching.
"We had the same thing with New Richmond until we beat them last year," Barta said. "Once we beat (B-W) the first time, hopefully we'll get over that hump."
Barta goes back a long way with his seniors, who include Reuvers, Germain, Bruce Baillargeon and Matt Parent.
"They've been with me since these guys were in seventh grade," he said. "They've been with us as we built up this program."
Baldwin-Woodville 9, Somerset 2
Campbell p 4-0-2, Vail c 4-2-2, Kimberly ss 2-2-1, Thompson 1b 3-2-3, Van Roekel 3b 4-1-2, Rinehart 2b 4-0-1, Simons lf 2-2-0, Newton cf 4-0-1, Hinrichs rf 4-0-1. Totals 31-9-13.
Walczak cf 3-0-1, Parent lf 3-0-1, Germain p 3-0-1, Reuvers 2b 3-1-1, Williams 1b 3-1-2, Anderson ss 3-0-0, Landry c 2-0-0, Baillargeon rf 3-0-0, Schreiner 3b 2-0-0. Totals 25-2-6.
2B-Reuvers. HR-Williams. RBI-Williams 2.
Baldwin-Woodville 030 132 0=9
Somerset 000 000 2=2
PITCHERS IP H R ER BB SO
Campbell (W) 7 6 2 2 1 8
Germain (L) 1 2 3 3 2 1
Reuvers 6 11 6 6 3 4