Washington splits conference opener
The opening of conference play was highlighted by a walk-off winner for Washington on Friday night.
In a doubleheader with Keokuk, the Demons took Game 1 in walk-off fashion 2-1, but Keokuk stuck back in Game 2, winning 14-4 to split the series.
In Game 1, Elijah Wood took the mound for the Demons and strung together a complete game, allowing six hits, one earned run, two walks while striking out six in the game.
“They were hitting the ball pretty well,” Wood said. “I went out and threw as hard as I could and gave it my all.”
The only trouble Wood got in was in the first two innings.
After getting the first batter of the game to fly out, the Chiefs rattled off three straight hits to drive in a run.
After Washington responded in the same fashion in the bottom of the first, with Dakota Kron driving in Tanner Knupp, the Chiefs were in a good position to break the game open in the second.
Two walks and a single loaded the bases with no outs for Keokuk, but Wood was able to force a double play, then strike out the next batter looking to end the inning with no damage.
“He got better as the game went on,” Washington head coach Nathan Miller said. “He’s a senior and that’s what he is supposed to do. If you start off rough and things aren’t going quite your way, he tightened his belt. When we throw strikes, our defense is pretty good. When you have to rotate guys around and put guys on base, it makes it tough.”
The pitchers cruised through to the seventh, when Washington’s Blake Weidman led off the inning with a walk. Designated hitter Tanner Renoux grounded into a fielders’ choice, with Weidman out at second, but Renoux hustling to be safe at first.
Ryan Loy came in to pinch run for Renoux, and after Bryce Craff was hit by a pitch, and Mason Quigley drew a walk, Jacob Green hit an infield single. Loy was able to slide in behind the catcher, barely beating the tag to give Washington the win.
In Game 2, the Chiefs picked up a huge second inning, drawing six walks en route to generating six runs in the inning to take a 7-1 lead.
The lead was stretched to a 14-2 lead going into the bottom of the seventh, but Washington was able to get a pair of runs in when Walker Breard smashed a two-run home run, in a seventh inning that Washington batted very well, despite being down by 12.
“We need to build with that,” Miller said. “That’s the attitude we need to have offensively every night. It was 14-2 in that last inning, but our focus and discipline at the plate was still there. That’s what we preach to you guys is to take it one pitch at a time. We did a tremendous job in that last inning, and that’s something we can hang our hat on.”
The Demons will take on Pella at home on Tuesday evening for their next game.