Jags need late comeback for 13-10 victory
Nothing ever seems to get in the way of a Mill Valley win over Blue Valley Northwest. Not even a seven-run deficit in the sixth inning could keep the Jags down last week.
Mill Valley was on the verge of losing its opening round game of the Legion Zone Tournament against Blue Valley Northwest. But the Jaguars put together a big seventh inning to pull out a come-from-behind 13-10 win over the 6A Huskies.
Mill Valley trailed 10-3 after six innings and was within a whisker of defeat via the 8-run rule when the team sent 15 batters to the plate and scored 10 runs in the top of the seventh inning.
In their portion of the final inning, Mill Valley put together five singles and saw four batters reach the pads by walks or hit batsmen. The Huskies were also credited for three errors in the stanza.
"It was cool," said Daniel Wheat. "We all kind of gave up for a while and then were able to come back."
Although the Jaguars were somewhat frustrated offensively, Wheat and his teammates soon saw it all come together.
"We started hitting the ball, and their pitching started to hurt them," Wheat said. "They started walking people, and when we were able to load the bases, we hit the ball."
Although Wheat entered the came in a slump, he found the Husky pitching staff to his liking.
He went 3-for-3 from the plate against the Huskies. His tournament slugging percentage reached the .667 mark and in eight at bats, he arrived safely five times in the tournament. He also scored a run and was credited for three runs batted in.
"Everything started to come," said Wheat on his timing of getting out of his slump. "I didn't want to change anything. I just started seeing the ball better and swinging at better pitches."
Tommy Fitzgerald started the barrage with a lead-off bunt single. A single by Tyson Corley and a walk by Alex Mercer loaded the bases with one out in the inning.
Wheat then knocked in his first of three RBIs in the inning with a single that brought Fitzgerald home.
Back-to-back Husky errors allowed Austin Zeh and Josh Purvis to reach base. Corley and Mercer scored because of the errors to cut the deficit to 10-6.
Corey Barrett and Sean McDonald were hit by pitches, with the bases still loaded, to score Wheat and Zeh, respectively.
Fitzgerald's sacrifice gave the Jags their second out of the inning, but also scored Purvis to bring the score to 10-9.
Michael Vanlerberg then reached on an error that brought in Barrett, the tying run.
Corley reached base for the second time in the inning with a walk to load the bases.
Back-to-back singles by Mercer and Wheat brought in McDonald, Vanlerberg and Corley to end the scoring for Mill Valley and give it the 13-10 win.
The Huskies opened up the scoring by putting up a pair of runs in the first inning. Blue Valley Northwest got a leadoff single and base on balls to start the game.
A sacrifice bunt put both runners in scoring position with one out. They both scored on a single.
Blue Valley Northwest made the score 10-3 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Jaguars didn't fare as well in the final two games of the double elimination tournament. Mill Valley lost to Olathe South 9-1 and to the Topeka Hawks.