ST. CHARLES – It was not until the seventh inning that the Hampshire Legion Post 680 baseball team was able to take advantage of the baserunners St. Charles Post 342 gave them Tuesday night.
In the first six innings Hampshire was unable to capitalize on the six walks and five hits St. Charles starting pitcher Alex Wiedemann allowed. The St. Charles North junior, with the aid of his defense, wiggled out of the jams.
Hamsphire started its last at-bat trailing, 8-1. By the time the ninth batter came to the plate, Hampshire scored three runs on five hits and three errors against relief pitcher Drew Underwager to narrow St. Charles’ lead to 8-4. With two outs and the bases loaded, center fielder Jim Welzien hit a grounder to shortstop Luke Corcoran and was thrown out at first on a close play to preserve the win for St. Charles.
“We did our best in the seventh inning,” Hampshire coach Adam Maizonet said. “It looked like we were going to spring back up with one out situation and then two outs. We were exactly where we wanted to be with hitting. We adapted and adjusted but came up short.”
“It was a relatively comfortable [lead],” said Post 342 coach Justin Moriarty. “Some dinks and doinks started dropping and it made it interesting at the end. We just got to learn how to finish.”
Hamsphire (10-18) scored its only other run in the first inning. Welzien led off the game with a single to left, advanced to second on Theo Mills’ single and scored on an error.
St. Charles catcher Erik Rabin attempted to throw him out at third but baseman Bernie Pellissier could not handle the throw and Welzien scored as the ball went into left field.
St. Charles (5-10) tied the game in the second on Rabin’s RBI single to right.
A Nick Drawant double in the third plated Jack Dennis, who had also doubled to put St. Charles ahead, 2-1.
Dennis and Drawant, who bat third and fourth in the order, helped break the game open for St. Charles in the fifth inning. A Dennis double scored two runs. Drawant followed with a triple to the fence in the right field gap that brought home two more runs. St. Charles scored two more in the inning making the score 8-1.
“Anything I hit to the fence in the summer league, I’m expecting a triple out of the box,” Drawant said.
“That’s about as well as they have hit the ball all season,” said Moriarty. “Having your 3 and 4 guys hitting with runners on base ahead of them obviously helps.”
Wiedemann, who pitched into the sixth inning, earned the win. Hampshire’s starting pitcher, Andrew Brown, took the loss.
“I thought Alex Wiedemann was around the zone all day,” Moriarty said. “It was just a tight zone. I didn’t think he was wild by any stretch of the imagination. He was all over the plate. He just didn’t get some calls.”