’Jackets’ bad timing brings worst result
Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 12:00 pm
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Greenfield couldn’t have picked a worse time to have ‘one of those days.’
The Yellowjackets committed an uncharacteristic five errors that made every Clarksburg run unearned and had runners thrown out at both home and third in what was ultimately a 5-4 eight-inning loss to the Rockets Monday that ended G’field’s season.
The disappointing result in the Region 7A Baseball Tournament brought down the curtain on what was an otherwise-stellar campaign that saw the ’Jackets win 27 of 30 games in all and their fourth consecutive District 14A tourney championship.
The team’s final memory of the 2012 season, though, was a bitter pill to swallow.
Tied at 3-all heading into an extra frame against a team it had beaten twice during the regular season, Greenfield surrendered what was the deciding runs in the eighth as a result of two walks, three throwing errors and a soft single to rightfield. There was also a hit batsman in the inning.
“It felt like that anything that could go wrong did,” a somber Greenfield coach Willie Trevathan said after meeting with his team following the loss. “It’s just baseball, I guess. You have days like these. It’s sure a tough way to go out, though.”
The contest was the last for four Yellowjacket seniors — Heath Crouse, Peyton Page, Graham Perkins and Adam Bethel — a quartet that was part of more than 90 victories during their decorated prep careers that included three consecutive sectional trips before Monday’s regional semifinal loss.
“We kept fighting and clawing, even through all the adversity, and those seniors were a big reason for that,” Trevathan continued. “This really hurts now, but in a few days or whatever it takes, those four will look back at their careers and be awfully proud of what they’ve accomplished as individuals and what we’ve done as a program.”
The ’Jackets did not go down without a fight, scoring once themselves on Chris Reddic’s RBI single and had the potential winning run at the plate with one out before Tanner Smithson and Hunter Crouse were retired by Logan Hampton to set off a wild C’burg celebration.
Former GHS assistant Daniel Wolford — a rookie head coach at Clarksburg — received numerous congratulations following the last out that secured the Rockets’ first regional championship berth in nearly 20 years.
“Give Clarksburg credit, they made some plays and got a key hit or two that put them in a position where our mistakes were really compounded and hurt us,” Trevathan added.
Greenfield, which outhit its visitors 10-5, scored twice in the second on Hunter Crouse’s two-run single, but squandered four other chances for runs that likely would’ve widened their slim lead before Clarksburg tallied once in the fourth and twice in the fifth to go up 3-2.
Crouse was called out on a bang-bang play in the first when he tried to score on the first of Tony Robinson’s doubles, and Graham Perkins got a late stop sign from Trevathan at third in the seventh and was nipped trying to get back to the bag by Hampton to end what could’ve been a game-winning last at-bat rally.
“I think anytime you’re not the underdog and the other team keeps finding a way to hang around, the pressure mounts,” the G’field coach said. “And I think that’s what happened tonight.”
G’field tied the contest at three in the bottom of the fifth on the old ‘walk-off’ play as Zac Grooms got intentionally caught in a rundown between first and second with the speedy Robinson cheating toward home at third base.
A wild throw to third in an attempt to nail Robinson allowed him to race home.
Heath Crouse threw the first seven innings, fanning six and giving up just three hits for the ’Jackets.
Clarksburg scored in the fourth on a fielder’s choice after a walk, an error and a passed ball, then tallied twice in the fifth with the aid of a hit batsman, an error, a fielder’s choice, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly by Jordan Cary. Matt Foster’s two-out double broke a 2-all tie.
Page relieved to start the eighth and had a wild pickoff throw after issuing a one-out walk.
An errant throw by Heath Crouse from third to first as he attempted to complete a double play and then another off-target peg from Bethel to Crouse at third allowed Spence Edwards to come in with the tie-breaking run.
An RBI base hit by Dallas Beller — the only hit of the inning — provided what was first an insurance run, but ultimately the difference.
Hunter Crouse, Robinson and Page had two hits apiece to pace Greenfield offensively.
Clarksburg will take a 22-11 record into Wednesday’s regional championship game at Huntingdon, which edged Trenton 4-3 in extra innings in Monday’s other semi.
Both Clarksburg and Huntingdon will advance to Friday’s sectional round of the postseason, regardless of the outcome of Wednesday’s meeting. Published in The WCP 5.15.12