WABASH – Whitko’s baseball team captured its first sectional championship in the program’s history Monday night against Cass, 5-3.
“It means a lot that we finally won it,” said head coach Erik Hisner. “We had a lot of past players here too. We had a lot of support this week. It means everything to us, because everyone worked hard for this. They got to get what they deserved tonight.”
Drew Bradford broke a 3-3 tie in the fifth inning by hitting the ball deep enough to send a pair of baserunners home.
Bradford also got the win on the mound. He allowed seven hits, and struckout seven. River West came in to secure the victory in the bottom of the sixth inning. West pitched just over an inning, and allowed no hits, and striking out a batter.
The Wildcats started the game with a bang. West hit an RBI single with the bases loaded to let Alex Bechtold score. Bradford left third base for home as Zach Hewitt found himself safe at third in a run down. Cass’ pitcher balked to advance Hewitt home. Whitko found itself with a 3-0 early advantage.
Cass fought back and loaded up the bases with no outs in the second inning. Cass punched in a pair of runs to narrow the Wildcats’ lead, 3-2.
Whitko recorded no hits in the third inning, and Cass took advantage in the bottom of the third. Cass scored a run to draw the game even at three runs. Whitko had no hits once again in the fourth inning. No harm was done, as Cass left a man stranded on third base to end the inning.
Whitko started off the fifth inning with Spencer Sroufe hitting a single off an error, then stealing to second base. Bechtold walked and also stole to second. That’s when Bradford hit his long ball to break the tie and go ahead 5-3 with much shown emotions while he stood on first base.
Bradford flaunted his emotion once more in the fifth inning, this time when he struck the third man out, with a Cass player left on third base.
Bradford came off the mound after walking a batter during the sixth inning. River West stopped any runs from scoring as the Wildcats were off celebrating their sectional championship win.
“It was a gutty game,” said Hisner. “Bradford was outstanding, pitching out of trouble all night. River West came in and we couldn’t have asked more from him. Everyone contributed one way or the other. This game means a lot to our program”
Whitko faces Wapahani in its first program regional game June 3 at 1 p.m. back at Wabash High School. If Whitko advances, the Wildcats will play in the regional championship at 7:30 p.m. against either Lafayette Central Catholic or Blackford.
Whitko 2, Bellmont 3
DECATUR – Whitko’s baseball team lost to Bellmont in eight innings last week, 3-2.
Alex Bechtold kicked off the game with a run on a double steal in the top of the third inning.
Drew Bradford sent home Landon Goff on a sacrifice fly to put Whitko ahead 2-0 in the fifth inning.
Bellmont got on the scoreboard in the sixth, first scoring off a fielder’s choice, then a Whitko error, to tie the game at two.
After a scoreless seventh inning, the game went to extra innings.Bellmont hit a walk off single in the eighth inning to close the game.
Drew Bradford pitched seven innings and struck out seven batters. Alex Robbins pitched the eighth inning and struck out one.
Bechtold went 3 for 4 at bat, stole a base and scored a run. Goff went 2 for 2, stole a base and scored a run for the Wildcats