Archie may have been the underdogs on paper going into the Class 2 quarterfinals against West Platte May 23 at Archie, but the Whirlwinds put up a fight.
The Blue Jays beat Archie 2-1 to move on to the state semifinals.
“We played a perfect game defensively,” Archie head coach Paul Brack said. “We had no errors. (Jimmy) Blundell, (Boston) Dickerson and (Collin) Lewis all did an outstanding job of pitching. We did what we had to do defensively to win the game. We made two crucial base-running mistakes that cost us at least two runs. We did not execute well enough on offense to give ourselves a chance to win.”
West Platte, 21-1, scored early in the game in the first inning off a single to lead 1-0.
In the bottom of the second inning, Archie made a couple of base-running mistakes. Jacob Gordon hit a single and Collin Morgan was put in as a pinch runner. Ty Humbird was walked, but Morgan was picked off first base.
Mason Tarwater struck out and then Humbird was tagged out at second trying to steal to end the inning.
The Whirlwinds tied up the score in the bottom of the sixth inning, starting with a single from Kody Bray. Toby Gibson hit a sacrifice bunt and Lewis singled to send Bray home.
But the Blue Jays retaliated in the top of the seventh inning. After Lewis struck out the first batter and the next was forced out at first base, two singles in a row gave up a run to put West Platte ahead 2-1.
“Collin Lewis had a complete game for us tonight,” Brack said. “He pitched three innings, got the game-tying base hit and had a good day in the field.”
With one more chance for Archie, Gordon struck out, but Humbird was walked. Tarwater struck out, but Dakota Jones’ fly ball was caught to end the game.
Lewis picked up the loss for Archie, pitching for three innings, allowing one run, earned, and had three strikeouts. Blundell pitched for 1/13 innings, allowing two hits, one run, earned, three walks and had one strikeout. Dickerson pitched for 2 2/3 innings, allowing one hit and had one strikeout.
Lewis also had one hit and one RBI. Dickerson had one hit, a double and Bray had one run and one hit. Gibson, Gordon and Dickerson had one hit hit each and Humbird had two walks.
“I am proud of this year’s team,” Brack said. “We finished the season firing on all cylinders and the boys competed to the best of their ability. The future looks bright as we will be losing only one senior.”
The Whirlwinds, 9-10, graduate Blundell.
“We had a great team effort from all the players,” Brack said. “I am proud of the way the team competed the last four games in the state playoffs. I think we have turned the competition corner and I am looking for good things to come in the next couple of years.”