WINDSOR — Dieterich’s Tanner Traub nearly pitched a mistake-free game, but consecutive walks with two outs in the sixth inning proved costly against Windsor/Stew-Stras on Monday.
The Blue Devils’ Alex Allen and Brandon Helmuth walked and Allen later came around to score on a double steal play that caught Traub in no man’s land, while the Blue Devils won 1-0 to advance to the next round of the National Trail Conference tournament.
Against Helmuth, Dieterich catcher Cole Hartke fumbled with a pitch in the dirt, allowing Allen to take second base after the walk.
Helmuth walked and Allen took third base on a passed ball, giving Derek Moschenrose a chance to drive in the team’s first run of the game; however, he was one of the many players who were hitless against Traub.
Traub pitched six innings, struck out 11 batters – including Moschenrose once – and only walked two, so Windsor/Stew-Stras head coach Mike Taylor said his team had to figure out a way to score a run.
During Moschenrose’s at-bat, Helmuth jumped off first base, looking to steal second, and Traub recognized the movement before throwing the pitch.
“We addressed that – what to do if he steals,” Dieterich head coach Jamie VanScyoc said. “What Mike (Taylor) did was try to force a balk.”
A balk would’ve allowed Allen to score, walking to home plate, but VanSyoc said Traub handled the play correctly; however, Traub was still caught in the middle of a decision.
Taylor said his team has practiced that play on the defensive end in practice and said there’s a strategy to how to do the right things in Traub’s situation.
“With two outs, get the out as quick as we can to get the runner at second,” Taylor said. “Either that or take your chance and let him have the base, and take your chance on a hit scoring two.”