BELOIT West Branch sends Irish packing, 10-3
Ursuline finished the season at 3-12.
By BOB ROTH
BELOIT -- The West Branch High baseball team had a pair of five-run, five-hit innings Friday to defeat Ursuline, 10-3, in a sectional tournament opener.
The fourth-seeded Warriors scored in the first and sixth innings to end the Irish season at 3-12. Last year, the Irish qualified for state in Div. III.
"Obviously, it feels good to advance with a sectional title," West Branch coach Lynn Grove said. "This is a very big win for us."
The Warriors (18-6) sent eight men to the plate in the first inning to score five runs, with five consecutive batters reaching base after the first hitter was out.
Singles by Drew Barker, Drew Romigh and Matt Martig were followed by a boot and a throwing error in the Irish infield.
Jim Stanley hit a triple over the rightfielder's head to score two runners, making the score 4-0. John Phillips hit an RBI single to score Stanley.
Junior southpaw John Metzinger (1-3), the Ursuline starter and loser, deserved a better fate as he settled down and pitched four scoreless innings.
Metzinger had a two-run single to cut the score to 5-2.
In the third inning, Ursuline's Erin Satterlee walked and advanced to third on two wild pitches, Don Close made a great grab on a line drive to end the Ursuline threat.
Barry and Neely opened the fourth inning with singles and Warriors starter Kyle Buck threw a wild pitch to put runners at second and third with nobody out.
Junior righthander Robert Stull came on in relief for West Branch. The 6-1 junior (6-3), who has four saves and an ERA under 2.00, twice made outstanding fielding plays to nail runners at the plate and got out of the jam with a flyout to rightfield.
"Instinct took over for me defensively when I came in and made those two throws home," Stull said.
West Branch batted around in the sixth, scoring five runs.
Stanley, who was 4 for 4 with a triple, double and two singles, started the rally. Josh Scott hit a two-run double and Romigh added a two-run triple into the rightfield corner.
Stanley had four of the Warriors' 15 hits and two RBIs. Romigh was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
"We don't see too many lefties," Romigh said, "but I felt good because I was able to adjust to him."
Kevin Barry had two of Ursuline's eight hits.
"We wanted to be aggressive at the plate and on the bases but that is hard to do when you are down 5-0 before you even come to bat," Ursuline coach Sean Durkin said.
"Our starter pitched well, but our mistakes put him in a hole and they had timely hitting to take advantage of our mistakes," Durkin said.