Quigley powers weekend split
One hit seemed to send a shot of confidence to the Washington baseball team on Saturday afternoon.
After dropping the first game of a doubleheader with Durant, 13-7, the Demons trailed 4-2 in the early going of game two.
That is, until Mason Quigley came up to bat in the bottom of the fourth and launched the ball over the left field fence to tie the game up at four. The Demon offense came alive and they would eventually win 9-4.
“(Washington head coach Nathan Miller) was saying that we just needed to get hits and get people on base to get it started,” Quigley said. “I thought it was going to be a routine fly, but it went over the fence and the score was tied. Once we knew everyone could hit, we started having more confidence to get some hits off of him.”
Quigley didn’t do it just at the plate, as he picked up the win in relief, pitching 4 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up three hits and three walks in the second game.
“It was just my day,” Quigley said. “Pitching and hitting went well and it feels good.”
In game one Durant struck first in the third inning, scoring three runs on three hits, but the Demons were able to answer back in their half of the third.
Washington loaded the bases with no outs, and after Jacob Green drew an RBI walk, Walker Breard hit a bases-clearing triple to make it 4-3.
In the sixth, Durant batted through the order, scoring five runs on three hits and three walks.
In the bottom of the sixth, Dakota Kron and Blake Weidman came across to score for the Demons, but another five-run inning for Durant made it 13-6 heading into the bottom of the seventh.
“It was tight right up until that final inning,” Miller said. “We had chances early in the game to hit that pitcher. Based on what we’ve faced previously, we should be able to hit a pitcher of that caliber.”
Weidman hit a solo homerun to close the gap to six, but the Demons weren’t able to put anyone else on base, as they dropped the contest.
“It was a tough day,” Miller said. “It just didn’t feel like mentally we were ready to go. That first game was not reflective of Demon baseball. That’s not really the way we’ve played all year, and there is no reason to come out flat like that. The second game we swung the bats a lot better and had a lot of walks, which is why we scored nine runs.”
Washington started up quickly in game two, with Tanner Knupp drawing a leadoff walk and coming around to score on a Walker Breard single.
Durant answered with a two-RBI double in the second, and another two runs in the third to open up a 4-1 lead.
Jacob Green singled and scored in the bottom of the third, but in the fourth, Quigley’s homer tied things up.
“The big hit was Mason, and after that I told the guys if we get a couple more on, I think they are going to lie down,” Miller said. “Once we got up 7-4, you could just see their energy got sucked out and you didn’t hear anything out of their bench anymore.”
The Demons closed out the game by adding another five runs, including a two-RBI single by Weidman in the sixth to secure the victory.
Washington pitchers Elijah Wood and Michael Gier expect to start Monday night’s conference doubleheader at Keokuk, and the game plan is to keep things simple.
“We’ve got two of the three guys going who have been throwing really well for us on the mound,” Miller said. “It comes down to getting ahead in counts. If you can throw strikes and get it in and out, you can get high school hitters out.”
The doubleheader will begin at 5:30.