Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 15, 2018

Washington Demons win first round of postseason Friday night

By Bill Gatchel | Jul 17, 2017
Photo by: Bill Gatchel Pitching for Washington in the first round of the Class 3A District 9 postseason was Collin Zear. He helped lead the Demons to an 8-2 victory over Williamsburg Friday, July 14, giving up only three hits.

When the postseason starts for any team, it means you have to win to move on and that’s exactly what the Washington baseball team did Friday, July 14, when they won over Williamsburg 8-2.

After a scoreless first inning, Washington got on the board when Aaron Vittetoe and Luke Turner scored on a double by Kiowa Keith.

Later in the inning, Keith and Noah Enfield would cross the plate on a pop to left field by Zach Londberg, putting Washington up 4-0.

He was pleased to help in the scoring drive.

“It felt good because it really got the team hyped up and ready to hit the ball. We started coming together after that and we kept making contact after that.”

Coach Nathan Miller agrees.

“Any time you can score in the postseason and score first, you can sense it. Your guys get a little more confident, they get more comfortable.

“They say to themselves, ‘now we have the lead, let’s continue to tack some on and continue to put pressure on them.’

“Our guys did that. They came out a couple innings later and tacked a few more runs on. That’s what I like.”

In the fifth, the Demons added another three runs to the board when Bryce Craff came home on an RBI by Londberg.

Londberg scored on a wild throw and Ryan Loy scored on an RBI by Collin Zear.

Scoring more runs in the fifth kept the team’s momentum going, Londberg says.

“It kept us hyped,” he says. “The energy in the dugout just kept us scoring as well as hitting the ball better and playing well.”

Washington put up their final run in the sixth when Enfield scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael Gier.

In the seventh, Williamsburg scored two runs, but it wasn’t enough as Washington would get the win.

The outcome of the game came down to pitching, Miller says.

“You need strong pitching and we got that from Collin Zear tonight,” he says.

“He threw a one-hitter through 6 2/3 innings. He did a fantastic job.

“We really focused on the fastball and they [Williamsburg] had problems with it. If you can’t catch up to it, why change it?

“The first couple of hits made were on curveballs, so we decided that until they can hit the fastball, we’re going to continue to spot the fastball. It was a great outing.

“Defensively, we played really solid. We had a 1-6-3 double play and we also had the unconventional double play in the rundown.

“I think it was a 1 to 3 to 6 to 3 to 2. While it was unconventional, to me, it was that we were playing more of a heads-up baseball.

“We understood that we were up 8-0 and let’s get that out, then we take a look at what the other guy is doing.

“The base runner messed up. When that happens, we want to take advantage of that and get the extra out.”

The team faces Assumption tonight, July 17, and they will be a tough opponent.

“It will be tough,” Londberg says, “but we’re tough, too. It will just be who fights harder.”

“It’s going to be two really good teams playing each other,” Miller says, “there’s no doubt about it.

“In our minds, not that tonight wasn’t a state tournament type game, but starting Monday, state tournament starts because Davenport Assumption is a state tournament quality team.

“The next round at substate will be a state tournament quality team.

“Our round of state tournament action starts now. We want to make sure we come to the field ready to go.

“We’re going to prepare the kids for Monday and we’re going to get after it.

“Outside of us, there’s probably not a lot of people across the state that will circle Washington. But no matter what, we’re going to come to the yard and we’re going to play baseball.”

Playing on the home field should help, Miller says.

“We’ve played really well at home this year, so any time you don’t have to ride a bus or vans for an hour and a half and you can take batting practice how you want before the game.

“You know the bounces and how the field works. You have that advantage. We will take it.”

The game against Assumption begins at 7 p.m.tonight.

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