KINMUNDY — South Central took advantage of two momentum swings following missed opportunities by Windsor/Stew-Stras on Wednesday to win 9-3 a clinch a spot in Saturday’s NTC championship game against St. Anthony.
South Central pitcher Dylan Peters walked two batters in the first inning to give the Blue Devils second and third with one out; however, Brandon Helmuth got picked off at third base and Peters struck out Hayden Cole to end the inning.
Against freshman pitcher Derek Moschenrose, South Central scored four runs on four hits in the bottom of the first inning, including a two-run home run off the bat of Noah Powless.
Windsor/Stew-Stras scored three runs in the third inning and head coach Mike Taylor said he thought his hitters were starting to get to Peters, after the South Central pitcher went the first two innings without giving up a hit.
The Blue Devils struck out South Central’s Kyle Bray for the third out in the bottom of the fifth inning, but Cole dropped the third strike and overthrew first baseman Dylan Ohnesorge, which allowed two runs to score with two outs.
“Those are two big momentum swings,” Taylor said. “It’s a play you’ve got to make. You have to take your time and complete the throw to get out of the inning with a lot of momentum.”
Base runners Gavin Ratermann and Dre Hill scored on the error, before Tyler Ross singled to score Bray for the team’s third run of the inning.
Peters pitched the sixth and seventh inning, giving up only one hit to finish his complete game.
“You just have to survive this time of year,” South Central head coach Curt Jones said. “We got hits when we needed them.”
Jones said his team’s four-run first inning helped his players ease the tension of the semifinal game, especially since he said the team didn’t play its best.
South Central brought 15 batters to the plate in the first two innings and chased Moschenrose from the game with two outs in the second inning when he walked two batters and gave up a single following a double play in the field.
“I just don’t think Derek had as good of stuff as he’s had in other games,” Taylor said.
Nic Hutchinson relieved Moschenrose and walked the ensuing batter, Ross, to give up the only run of the inning for South Central.
“Those guys are freshmen and are learning how to pitch to these better teams that can hit,” Taylor said of Moschenrose and Hutchinson. “It’s a good lesson for those guys to pitch in a game like this.”
Windsor/Stew-Stras will play at Altamont in the third-place game on Saturday, while South Central will play St. Anthony for the third time this season.
“It’s going to come down to pitching, making plays and getting timely hits,” Jones said. “I think we’re pretty evenly matched. We pretty much know what they got, their style of play.”
The third-place game is set for noon on Saturday, while the championship will play out at 3 p.m.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or email@example.com.
Windsor/Stew-Stras 003 000 0 3 4 1
South Central 411 030 X 9 11 1
WP - Peters (7 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 H, 7 K, 6 BB), LP - Moschenrose (1.2 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 6 H, 3 BB)
Windsor/Stew-Stras: Allen (2-3, 2 1B, BB, SB, R), Helmuth (3 BB, R), Moschenrose (1-2, RBI, BB), Cole (1-3, 2 RBI), Ohnesorge (1-3, R)
South Central: Smith (2-3, 2B, BB, RBI), Bray (2-3, 2 1B, 3 RBI, BB), Powless (2-3, HR, BB, 2 RBI), Ross (1-2, 2 BB, 2 RBI), Harmeier (RBI), Hill (2-2, 2 1B, 2 BB, SB)