Wheaton baseball boosts record to 9-2

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
He's home safe Wheaton senior Kyle Robbins slides into home on a passed ball against Golden City last Monday. The Bulldogs defeated Golden City 13-1 in five innings. Matt Hickman pitched a complete game, giving up three hits and striking out eight. Chase Cantwell went two-for-three and scored three runs.

The Wheaton Bulldog baseball team has had a busy two weeks, competing in both the Crane Woodbat Tournament and the Purdy Fall Classic as well as playing Golden City at home.

Wheaton placed second in the Crane Woodbat Tournament, which wrapped up last weekend, and are currently two for two in the Purdy Classic with one more game left to play. The Bulldogs are currently 9-2 on the season.

Crane tournament

In the first round, Wheaton prevailed over Blue Eye 8-2. Sean Goostree struck out 13 batters without giving up a walk in the complete game effort. Anthony Brattin went two for two at the plate with a walk, two runs scored and three RBI to pace the Bulldogs.

The semi-final matchup pitted Wheaton against their rival Purdy, who they had already lost to 4-3 earlier in the season. This time around the Bulldogs were ready to play, getting the win 11-1 in five innings.

Kyle Robbins pitched four innings of hitless shutout baseball, striking out seven. Brattin threw the final inning, also without giving up a hit, but Purdy was able to break into the scoring column on a couple of walks and a couple of errors.

The championship pitted Wheaton against Morrisville, but the Bulldogs came up short in a 4-1 decision. Two errors led to three unearned runs in the fifth inning, which was the difference in the game. Matt Hickman, Goostree and Robbins all doubled in the game, and Wheaton actually outhit Morrisville 8-4.

Purdy Fall Classic

Wheaton began play in the four-team round robin Purdy tourney on Friday, Sept. 16th with a wins over Hurley and Purdy.

The Bulldogs bested Hurley 12-0 in five innings, getting a two-hitter from Brattin, who also struck out nine. Tyler Musick had a double and triple, driving in three runs, while Goostree had a homerun, a triple and scored three times. Steven Hendrix had two doubles and three RBI.

In the nightcap Wheaton again faced the Purdy Eagles, this time coming out on top 7-0. It was a classic rivalry game with Wheaton holding a 1-0 lead until the fifth, when Hickman finally broke it open on a bases-loaded three-run double after Robbins had been intentionally walked.

"I was so excited for Matt to come through in that situation," said coach Jason Webb. "Robbins is such a good hitter that teams will try to pitch around him, and Matt served notice that teams had better think twice before they do that."

Goostree was also spectacular on the mound, pitching a complete game one-hit shutout, striking out 10 with four walks.

The Bulldogs were not great at the plate with only three hits on the night, but all of them were doubles and came at opportune times with runners on bases.

Purdy's Reese Stevenson and Cameron Terry combined to strike out 15 Wheaton batters.

Wheaton is in the driver's seat for the tournament Championship, although Exeter has games against Wheaton and Purdy that could force a tiebreaker situation.

"We'd like to go out and take care of business and win the tournament outright with a win over Exeter, not having to rely on any tiebreakers," said Webb. "This team seems to have the competitive mentality that it takes to win big games."

The Wheaton-Exeter and Purdy-Exeter games were rained out on Saturday. Wheaton was also scheduled to play at Hurley on Monday, but that game was rained out as well. The two rainouts have not been rescheduled at the time of printing. Wheaton hosts Purdy for their fourth meeting this fall on Friday, Sept. 23rd at 5 p.m.

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