The motto for Archie’s baseball team, according to coach Bryon Cecil, is “You’re going to get on base somehow.”
Problem was, Archie wasn’t getting on base over the first five innings in its Class 2 sectional showdown against Skyline.
And then came the sixth inning when the Whirlwinds – somehow – pushed across four runs without a single hit and took control for a 9-2 victory May 26 in front of a large crowd on their home field.
The win sent Archie, 18-7 into a Class 2 quarterfinal rematch at West Platte on May 28.
For five innings on Memorial Day, however, it didn’t look as if Archie was going anywhere. All the Whirlwinds had to show through the first four innings against Skyline starting pitcher Ethan DaMitz were one hit and eight strikeouts.
Cecil wasn’t all that concerned, though. Once his hitters saw more of DaMitz, he expected their bats to perk up.
“The second time through the lineup the boys usually pick it up and get good approaches,” Cecil said. “It helps them seeing multiple pitches from the same pitcher because they start to get their timing down good.”
With Skyline up 2-0 after the fourth, Archie got four hits in the fifth and its first run when Caleb Blundell doubled and Jacob Gordon brought him home with a single.
Archie wouldn’t get any hits in the sixth, but DaMitz, and two other Skyline pitchers, suddenly couldn’t find the strike zone. Blundell drew the last of four straight walks to bring home the tying run, and Gordon put the Whirlwinds ahead with a chopper to short and Calvin Romi beat the throw home.
Archie piled on four more runs in the seventh with two hits and three Skyline throwing errors.
“We had good quality at-bats and good approaches to the plate,” Cecil said. “Special things happen when you put the ball in play and make the defense make a play.”
Gordon, who wound up with three hits and two RBIs for the Whirlwinds, admitted to feeling a little frustrated at first.
“I wasn’t happy with myself for not doing so well,” Gordon said. “But in the end we came through and got some hits.”
Boston Dickerson picked up the win in relief of Romi. The two combined to hold Skyline to eight hits and two walks while striking out seven and add to what turned out to be a solid all-around effort by the Whirlwinds.
“This was the greatest game I’ve ever played in,” Gordon said. “It was just amazing.”