Wayne's Cade Christian snags a tough line drive just off the grass in left field for an out against the Blue Devils. Photo by Jason Selby
On Tuesday night at home, first place was tantalizingly close to the Falcon baseball team, despite a number of fielding errors and the absence of Trent Moore. When Dillon Lain swept around a tag by the Blue Devils catcher on a sacrifice fly, Wayne found themselves tied with league-leading Martensdale-St. Mary’s, 4-4. But the Blue Devils scored 7 runs in the 7th inning to put Wayne away, 12-5.
The Falcons have two more chances against 16-4 MSM—Saturday at the Clarke tournament in Osceola, and in the last game of the season on the road.
Despite the loss, Head Coach Denver Walker believes his team learned something from the game.
“Disappointing night, to say the least,” Walker said. “We got a good pitching performance from C.D. [Kunzie] on the mound, who kept us in the game despite a couple of errors behind him, but we just couldn't keep our focus for that last inning. Trevor threw the ball well coming into the game in the 7th. He has had some varsity pitching experience last year as an 8th grader and did a great job for us, but we hadn't gotten a chance to get him into a varsity game yet this year. He was right around the zone, but just wasn't getting the calls and we just let things snowball from there.
“Baseball is a very mental game, and I try to stress that side of it to the kids. That was a game we should have won, in my opinion, but I think there are times where we're just happy to hang around in close ball games against good opponents. We've still got to develop a little more of that killer instinct, which is tricky when you have such a laid back group.”
Wilson took over for Kunzie in the top of the 7th, and hurt himself with 4 walks. It was a tough spot for the talented freshman—hitting .314—to be put into, but in the long run, only one inning for Wilson and his teammates. As Walker, believes, there are bigger things to come.
Kunzie gave up a 2-run homerun to MSM’s Eddie Kraber in the 1st inning, and then settled in to strike out 7 in 6 innings.
Kenton Lain led Wayne with 3 hits. Dillon Lain had 2 hits with a double and scored 2 runs. Cade Christian had 2 RBI, a hit, a walk and a run. Blayde Baker had 2 RBI on 2 hits. Keyton Nickel knocked in an RBI with a walk and a run.
“We had a lot of good at-bats, but need to get more consistent from top to bottom,” Walker said. “We haven't had a night where every single guy has swung the bat really well. I think once that happens, things will start to click a little more.
“We will face off against Martensdale again on Saturday in the first game of the Clarke tournament and then again later in the season up at their place. I'm excited to see what the guys learned from this game, and see if we can't turn the corner and get a good quality win to get back into the race for that top spot in the conference.”
Before the Clarke tournament, the Falcons play tonight at Lamoni, and Fri., June 20 at East Union.