The District 11 final between DC-G and Knoxville was suspended and postponed after four innings due to impending severe weather. The storm did not come, however, before the Mustangs jumped out to a 10-0 lead over the Panthers with five runs in the first and third innings helping the them to a 11-6 win get to the substate final on Wednesday.
Sam Wadsworth was supposed to be the starting pitcher on Tuesday but suffered a torn ACL in the July 22 district semifinal game while running to first base. Cole Baker got the start in his place and pitched the shutout for the Mustangs.
"He’s had a good year and he’s really put himself in a position where he deserves to pitch some of those games," coach Byron Peyton said of Baker. "I think he’s doing very well."
The first four batters of the game Tyler Pierson, Jake Lewis, Justin Carlyle and Jordan Kloewer had singles before Mike Foggia struck out for the first inning of the game.
Carlyle, Nick Schiller had one RBI each in the first inning and Cole Baker had two.
There was more of the same in the third inning with five more Mustang runs. Carlyle added two more RBIs on a double that scored Pierson and Lewis.
Carlyle had three RBIs in the game while going 3-for-5 and reaching base on an error.
Defensively, the Mustangs got themselves out of jams multiple times. In the first inning with the bases loaded and no one out the Mustangs turned a 1-2-3 double play getting the force outs at home and first base.
In the second inning the Mustangs turned a 5-4-3 double play getting outs at second and first. In the fourth inning with runners on first and third, Baker struck a batter out and then the Mustangs got the force out at second base to end the inning.
The fifth inning was about to begin when the umpires delayed the game and soon after it was suspended to begin again on Tuesday. The Mustangs were just three outs away from what would’ve been a win but instead had to pick the game up in the top of the fifth up 10-0.
"I wish we could’ve finished it," Peyton said. "I think it’s just kind of crazy that you’ve got to drive all the way back for what could amount to be three outs."
The Mustangs were to play Norwalk in the substate final game on Wednesday. Peyton said it will be a "difficult challenge" as they have played Norwalk twice this season and lost both games by scores of 2-1 and 2-0.
When the game picked back up on Tuesday, Knoxville managed five runs in the fifth inning to keep the game going. The Panthers scored once more in the sixth but that didn’t stop Baker from picking up the win.
The Mustangs got the district tournament started off right as they beat Bondurant-Farrar by a score of 7-2. The game looked like it might be a pitcher’s dual until the sixth inning.
The game was tied at two until the sixth inning where the Mustangs put five runs on the board. This catapulted the Mustangs to what was eventually the final score of 7-2.
"We had good at bats against a good pitcher and just battled until we got a break. We had a break there in the sixth inning and then jumped on it and took advantage and got more and made it a little easier," Peyton said. "But up until that point it had been a pretty good ball game."
Wadsworth suffered his torn ACL running to first base in the sixth inning. He was met head on by the B-F first baseman with the ball and tried to move around him and reach for the bag with his left leg.
"Everybody’s talking about how he tried to reach around and touch that bag and there was a lot of weight going this way and it twisted and I know he’s in a lot of pain," Peyton said before they were certain of what the injury was.
Foggia went 3-for-4 in the game with one triple and two RBIs. Lewis pitched all seven innings for the Mustangs and picked up the win behind five strikeouts while giving up just two runs on four hits en route to advancing to the district finals.