First round playoff game, TV 11 Proctor 8
Twin Valley coach Jim Burke looked first baseman Jason Moore in the eyes and didn’t say a word. He didn’t need to. He just handed Moore the ball Moore had crushed over the left field fence and gave him a fist bump. It was Moore’s second homer of the day, capping a career game from the plate. In what could have been Moore’s last game in a red and gray Wildcat jersey, Moore made the difference, going 4-4 and leading the Wildcats to a first round win in division IV playoffs over Proctor, 11-8.
“He knew he had the power,” said Burke after the game. “What he showed tonight was confidence at the plate.”
Burke brought shortstop Sam Molner’s older brother George in this week to provide pitching practice and tips to his batters. For Moore, it made the difference. Moore had spent the season ripping shots to left field, but they always seemed to pull foul. According to Burke, Molner told Moore to get closer to the plate when he swings. Sure enough, Moore took that tip to Baker Field on Tuesday and ripped two over the fence.
Dal Nesbitt started on the mound for the Wildcats, going five innings, fanning eight, and giving up six hits and four runs.
The Wildcats took command of the game in the bottom of the first inning, scoring three after falling behind 2-0. In the second, Twin Valley took a 6-2 lead after Moore hit his first homer, scoring Nesbitt in the process. Craig Green added a run for Twin Valley after stealing third and coming home on a bad throw to third from the outfield.
Twin Valley scored four more in the fourth with Cade Nesbitt, Moore, Sam Molner, and Colin Lozito recording runs. Lozito, Dal Nesbitt, and Molner would combine for six runs on the day.
Proctor would not go quietly, and gave relief pitcher Sam Molner a hard time in the sixth, forcing the sophomore to throw 42 pitches and reducing their deficit to two. After Moore hit his sixth-inning solo shot for insurance, Molner stepped back on the mound with resolve. After Proctor’s first batter knocked a single to left, Molner forced a fly out to right fielder Hunter Therrien, followed by a double play to end the game.
Cody Landon led Proctor, going 2-3 and pitching all six innings.
Burke says his squad will face tough opponents from here on, but he and coach Derek Cipriano have taken a new approach to what they call a new season. “We told the boys after the game ‘why not us?’” said Burke. “We can give anyone a run for their money. The playoffs are a four-game season and we’re 1-0, so we need to take that attitude and go from there.”
Mount St. Joseph 18 TV 2
The Green Wave came to town and had their way with the Wildcats last Thursday, rocking four pitchers for 17 hits.
Jason Moore started for the Wildcats, throwing 55 pitches in two and two-thirds innings, giving up eight hits and six runs with two K’s. Lincoln Pritchard went 3-5 for MSJ, with three runs scored. Dal and Cade Nesbitt, and Craig Green combined for the last five innings on the mound for Twin Valley, but no one could stop the landslide. The Nesbitts and Green gave up 12 runs, with Dal Nesbitt providing two strikeouts.
In the sixth, Twin Valley was able to salvage two runs when Moore hit for an RBI and a run of his own.
Colin Lozito went 2-3 to lead the Wildcat batters who only managed seven hits to nine strikeouts.
Zachery Lanzillo threw 98 pitches in six innings for the Green Wave.
TV 22 Proctor 7
Twin Valley went to Proctor and conquered on Saturday, as Kyle Murdock threw six strikeouts and scattered four hits in four innings on the mound.
Sam Molner had a monster day from the plate, going 5-6 with five RBIs and recording three runs and three steals. Jason Moore went 4-5 with three runs of his own, and Cade Nesbitt stole four bases for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats got off to a shaky start, going down 4-3 in the first inning, and holding a cautious 7-6 lead after two. From there, the Wildcats outscored the Phantoms 15-1 in the final five frames. In all, the Wildcats had 59 at-bats, 15 hits, 11 walks, and only four strikeouts.
Shawn Blanchard took the loss for the Phantoms, giving up 10 runs in five innings. Hunter Pockett led Proctor batters, going 2-3.