12U CHAMPS… Champions of the 2019 Watervliet pre-season tourna-ment; team went 4-0 for the tourna-ment! (From the left) Back row: Coach Bobby Warren, Coach Cory Edelberg, Coach Tom Camp; Third row: Allie Sullivan, Lilly Poole, Ma-kena Edelberg, Cloie Worley, Vicky Mandujano; Second row: Anjelina Moore, Jada Overton, Isabella Bultema, Leila Liberto-Taylor, Piper Selby, Destiny Warren; Front: Olivia Camp.
Watervliet Press Box by John Oliphant
Panther Baseball falls to Bronson in regional play
The youthful Panther baseball team was in control and poised to beat Bronson while holding onto a 3-0 lead after five innings in the first round of the regional tournament. The big and senior-heavy Vikings had other ideas, scoring two runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh inning to win the matchup at Union City on Wednesday, June 5.
The Vikings threatened in the second inning, loading the bases on two singles and a hit batter with one out. The Panthers got out of the jam on a ball hit back to pitcher Garrett Matthews, who started the double play with a throw to Caleb Bell at home and then Bell’s throw to Eric Kehrer at first to end the early threat.
In the second inning Nick Polaskey singled and stole second base. Evan Hutchins singled to score Polaskey, and the score remained 1-0 until the fifth. With one out Jakob Aldrich drew a walk and stole second base, when Andrew Chisek tripled to score the second Panther run. Chisek scored two batters later on a fielder’s choice to make the score 3-0.
After throwing five solid innings, starting pitcher Garrett Matthews was at 75 pitches. With the new pitch-count limits he was in danger of being unavailable for the rest of the week if he kept throwing. The challenge facing every high school baseball coach is whether to go with your big guns just to get to the next round, or save him for when we get there.
Facing the unavailability of his top hurler, Coach Josh Tremblay made the change putting Chisek on the mound in the sixth. Despite being lights-out in his last couple appearances, the first three Bronson batters had his number with each one getting a hit to score one run.
Caleb Bell got the first out throwing out Viking Ryan Wisman as he attempted to steal second base. But a run scored on a wild pitch before Chisek found his groove and notched two strikeouts to make the score 3-2 in favor of the Panthers.
GAME FACE… Makena Edelberg had her game face on Thursday as she pitched a couple innings for the Watervliet U12 team in a game against Gobles. The Panthers put forth a cohesive effort as they won the contest 14-4. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)