FASTPITCH SOFTBALL: Walker’s, A-Z punch tickets to title game
Walker’s Office Supply showed exactly why they are the No. 1 seed in the Nevada County Men’s Fastpitch National League playoffs Wednesday night.
With a strong effort from the circle backed by plenty of offense, the defending National League champion Walker’s punched their ticket to the 2017 title game with a 10-1 victory over No. 4 West Cal Concrete at Les Eva Field in Memorial Park.
“We played error-free softball,” said Walker’s catcher Walter Carson, who went 2-for-3 including a two-run blast in the fourth inning. “Limiting their at-bats and giving us extra chances was the difference.”
Walker’s jumped all over West Cal Concrete early, scoring six runs in the bottom of the first inning. Mike Lenz led off the game with a double, his first of two in the game. Dusty Moores’ RBI single brought Lenz home. Two singles, a walk and a hit batter later, Walker’s was up 3-0 with the bases still loaded. Brad Eastwood’s fielder’s choice grounder brought in another run, and Chris Bodily capped the big inning with a two-RBI base knock.
West Cal Concrete responded with a run in the top of the second, coming on a Mert Austin RBI single. But that would be it as the Walker’s pitchers dominated throughout the game.
Aaron Wilcox tossed the first four inning for Walker’s, allowing one run on two hits while striking out four and walking two.
“Aaron’s been throwing great these past several games and as long as he keeps his pace, we’re looking good,” said Carson.
Bob Woods pitched a scoreless fifth inning to close the game out for Walker’s.
Walker’s will face A-Z Supply in the National League Championship game for the second straight season. The title game is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at Les Eva Field.
A-Z, the No. 3 seed, topped No. 2 seed Partners In Care, 10-6, in the other National League semifinal.
It was see-saw battle early on, with A-Z scoring once in the top of the first and Partners In Care responding with three in their half of the inning.
A-Z kept the pressure on with four runs in the top of the second thanks to RBIs from Tommy Thompson and Roland Grijalva. Partners In Care answered with an RBI double by Brad Wyatt to make the game 5-4 after two.
An RBI single by Zach Ehrlich in the third put A-Z up 6-4. Donavan Chilton would extend the lead with a solo jack in the fifth. A-Z then added some insurance with three more runs in the sixth, getting RBI hits from Ray Thompson and Mike Meyer.
“We needed those really bad,” said Meyer, who went 2-for-3 in the game with two RBIs. “Our pitcher was getting tired. I was getting tired behind the plate. So, if we didn’t get those three runs, it would have really put the pressure on.”
A-Z pitcher Kenny Brose was popping Meyer’s glove all night, going six innings, striking out four and allowing six runs.
Walker’s topped A-Z, 10-5, in last season’s National League Championship.
“Gotta have patience. They will throw Kenny and he’s tough to hit,” said Carson. “If we can stay off his rise ball we’ll do better. It’s really about having patience at the plate.”
Meyer said the key to victory for A-Z will be playing solid defense.
“If our defense comes to play we can win,” Meyer said. “Kenny’s an amazing pitcher. If he snaps off his pitches, he strikes everybody out. But it’s the defense – that’s the key.”
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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The Little League District 11 postseason is off to a hot start.